ECONOMY

OTE, OPAP losses weigh on market

Greek stocks lost ground yesterday as steep losses for OTE telecom and OPAP offset bank gains. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index eased 0.67 percent to 1,536.58 points, bringing gains for the week to 6.2 percent. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index dipped 0.63 percent to 719.04 points. OTE telecom shed 3.90 percent to end at 7.15 euros and gambling company OPAP slumped 4.49 percent to 13.61 euros. Banks added 1.40 percent. The sector advanced almost 7 percent over the course of the week, boosted by expectations that Brussels is close to finalizing a more permanent solution to the Greek debt crisis. Piraeus Bank jumped 5.84 percent to 1.63 euros and peer Alpha gained 2.50 percent to end at 4.10 euros. Power plant builder Metka also surged ahead, adding 7.75 percent to end at 10.84 euros. Its parent company, Mytilineos, inched up 0.21 percent to 4.79 euros. In a morning note, National Securities cited Mytilineos management as telling analysts that 2011 group sales are seen reaching 1.3 to 1.5 billion euros, in line with broader expectations. Turnover rose to 188.8 million euros from 148.7 million in the previous session.