ECONOMY

Bank rumors see stocks lose ground

Most stocks lost ground last week in the local market with investors’ interest focusing on developments in the banking sector. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index starts the new week today from 1,588.33 points, which is 4.13 percent below the 1,656.82-point level a week earlier. The share capital increase of National Bank and the rumors about possible mergers and acquisitions concerning virtually all local lenders have generated some nervousness in the market, although observers note that the rising course of the last few weeks will return. Also last week, Attikat construction company added its name to the list firms asking for protection from its lenders, due to its problems of cash flow. The list now numbers as many as 11 stocks. Despite the fact that daily turnover last week was up from 92.4 million euros the week before to an average of 108.8 million euros, it is still at rather low levels.