ECONOMY

Troubled OTE holds back bourse’s gains

Index heavyweight OTE Telecom slumped to a five-year low yesterday as the broader market tried to track moderate gains on European bourses. OTE fell 2.53 percent to 13.12 euros, missing a rally of European peers. The Athens bourse’s benchmark index recovered from morning losses to end the session 0.34 percent higher at 2,043.10 points. «OTE’s shares have been pressured by soft first-half earnings, delays in its cost-restructuring program and uncertainties concerning its international holdings,» said one Athens-based analyst, who declined to be named. Greece’s largest company by market capitalization, OTE has lost 8.3 percent since it reported that first-half group net profit had fallen 15.6 percent. Blue chips gained 0.41 percent to 1,045.62 points. Mid-caps gained 0.34 percent, while small-caps firmed 0.19 percent. Turnover was 77.82 million euros, on volume of 17.5 million shares. Winners beat losers 178 to 103 with 71 stocks unchanged on 352 traded. (Reuters) Third-generation mobile telephony, awaited with great, and perhaps unrealistic, expectations, will be delayed but will succeed, speakers at a forum on the new technology said earlier this week. According to Constantine Aloupis, Southeast Europe chief of Motorola, the next two years will be very difficult for 3G equipment manufacturers but things will improve from then on. Emmanuel Yakoumakis, head of Greece’s National Telecoms and Postal Services Commission, said the infrastructure for 3G services is being built at a fast pace.