ECONOMY

ASE hurt by weak European bourses

Equities lost ground yesterday, hurt by weak European bourses, with bottler Coca-Cola HBC tumbling over 4 percent ahead of its US listing. Coca-Cola lost 4.3 percent to 13.34 euros, while the Athens benchmark general index ended 1.73 percent lower at 1,853.98 points. «The share – one of the few large-caps which have outperformed so far this year – is being hurt at the moment by uncertainty concerning the price of its offering before listing on the New York exchange,» said one analyst. The bourse suspended trade twice because of technical problems; it extended trade for half an hour to 4.30 p.m. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index fell 2.03 percent to 941.73 points. Mid-caps fell 1.46 percent, while small-caps lost 1.95 percent. Turnover came to 62.49 million euros, with 19.3 million shares changing hands. Losers beat winners 277 to 48, while 32 shares were unchanged on 357 traded. (Reuters) Analysts consider it likely that the French-based Lafarge cement group will sell assets worth around 400 million euros in Greece and Egypt as part of a drive to reduce its debt-to-equity ratio, according to Dow Jones Newswires. The drive is thought likely to affect Heracles General Cement’s export unit and the group’s 38-percent share in Egypt’s Alexandria Portland Cement, which may be sold into the joint partnership with Greece’s Titan Cement in Egypt.