Index, OTE continue on downward spiral

Equities shed 1.91 percent yesterday as tumbling European bourses continued to weigh on local sentiment, with index heavyweight OTE Telecom tumbling 4 percent on late-session selling. OTE closed at 11.04 euros. News that the company will hold an extraordinary shareholders meeting seeking approval for an extension of a share buyback failed to encourage investors. «OTE has lost its shine as one of the top defensive picks, mainly due to questions relating to its Balkan investments,» said an analyst. «When an institutional decides to reduce his exposure in telecoms due to problems in the sector internationally, this affects OTE,» he added. The benchmark general index ended at 1,818.58 points. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index fell 1.41 percent to 928.48 points. Mid-caps lost 3.41 percent, while small-caps fell 3.09 percent. Turnover was 95.98 million euros on 26.1 million shares traded. Losers beat winners 307 to 31, with 21 shares unchanged on 359 traded. (Reuters)

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