ECONOMY

Banks drag general index 0.4 percent lower

A new slide in index heavyweight National Bank pulled down the broader market yesterday as the effect of the National-Alpha merger share swap ratio continued to be felt. «The market hasn’t yet digested the National-Alpha share swap ratio and this has prompted the correction we expected. Nevertheless, the market is correcting at a mild rate,» said broker Marinos Yourgas at Market Securities. National fell 2.05 percent to 27.78 euros with the Athens benchmark general index shedding 0.4 percent to 2,765.56 points. National has lost about 7 percent since news of its share swap ratio of nine Alpha Bank shares for every seven new shares of the new National Bank. Banks lost 1.55 percent. Alpha Bank fell 0.74 percent to 21.42 euros. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE index lost 0.87 percent to 1,513.47 points. Mid-caps on the bourse’s FTSE/ASE-40 index rose 0.66 percent and small-caps added 2.05 percent. «There’s still a positive trend in the small- and mid-cap segment which shows that sentiment has improved,» said Yourgas. Turnover was 254.69 million euros. (Reuters)