ECONOMY

Bourse slips as lenders feel heat

Losses among bank stocks dragged the Athens bourse lower yesterday, as concerns about sovereign debts woes in Ireland and Spain weighed on investor sentiment. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index fell 1.59 percent to 1,472.50 points. Banks gave up 4.02 percent, after Monday’s 3 percent slide. Brokers partially blamed the woes of the banking index on investors trimming exposure in the sector in order to free up funds to take part in National Bank’s (NBG) share capital hike. NBG shares dropped 3.15 percent to 7.38 euros, the lowest in 18 months. ATEbank slumped 6.19 percent to 0.19 euros and Bank of Cyprus gave up 6.53 percent to 3.72 euros. Eurobank EFG also fell sharply, dropping 5.03 percent to 4.15 euros. Alpha Bank ended at 4.38 euros, off 4.99 percent. Coca-Cola Hellenic bucked the trend, adding 1.53 percent to 19.20 euros. Power company PPC gained 2.12 percent to 11.57 euros in line with cement company Titan, which firmed 0.49 percent to 14.50 euros. Betting operator OPAP shed 1.11 percent to close at 11.57 euros. Turnover reached 150.5 million euros versus 113 million in the previous session.