ECONOMY

4-year low for index

The Athens Stock Exchange went through four losing sessions last week, finally diving below 2,000 points to reach a level not seen since October 1998. The benchmark general index ended the week at 1,966.44 points, a drop of 100.10 points, or 4.48 percent. Total turnover for the week rose slightly to 384.67 million euros, a daily average of 76.93 million. The greatest pressure was, once again, on small-capitalization stocks. Thus the FTSE/ASE-80 of small-cap stocks lost 5.31 percent on the week, followed by the FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips which dropped 4.51 percent. The FTSE/ASE Mid-40 fared only slightly better, losing 4.15 percent. All sectoral indices also showed losses. Worst hit were textiles (8.89 percent), IT equipment/solutions (8.69 percent) and holding companies (8.52 percent). Least affected by the downturn were foods and beverages (1.66 percent). Of the 365 stocks traded over the week, 329 showed a loss, 28 gained and eight remained unchanged. The biggest gains were shown by Kordellos Brothers (35.44 percent) and Mouriades (29.31 percent). Leading losers were CPI (27.19 percent) and Allatini Ceramics (23.33 percent). The most heavily traded stocks included OTE, with a daily average of 13.84 million euros, and Bank of Attica (8.89 million), which, however, included one big transaction, the sale of a 17-percent stake by Commercial Bank. Despite all that, digital and ground pay-TV has a quite big market penetration in Greece, even by international standards. But at around 11 percent, this translates into a mere 355,000 subscribers. Even if this rose, say, to 400,000, this number is too small for competing stations to coexist. In Spain, for example, the disappearance of digital pay-TV Quiero led the two competitors, Sogecable and Telefonica, to conclude, according to a local analyst, that «in such a small market as Spain, with 11.7 million TV households and a potential market of between 5 and 6 million subscribers, there is no room for two competitive digital platforms.» If there is «no room» in such a market, what can one conclude about Greece?