ECONOMY

Stocks fall 0.99 percent despite interest in banks

Hopes of a successful outcome to the sale of a majority stake in ETBA Bank helped fuel buying interest in the sector yesterday, but the broader market sagged as profit-taking chipped away at recent gains. Developments in the banking sector revolving around ETBA have helped boost interest in financials, said a broker from Market Securities. State-run ETBA Bank trimmed early gains, ending 0.39 percent higher at 5.20 euros. Greece is seeking a buyer for all or part of its 65-percent stake in ETBA as part of the country’s structural reform plans. The deadline for binding bids ended yesterday. Agricultural Bank, which confirmed yesterday that it plans to bid for ETBA Bank, ended 0.75 percent lower at 7.92 euros. Banks turned southward late in the session, closing 0.15 percent lower. The Athens bourse benchmark general index eased 0.99 percent to 2,249.59 points, after gaining 2.18 percent on Thursday. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index fell 0.64 percent to 1,259.76 points and mid-caps retreated 1.26 percent. 6) It is true that Bodo Hombach will not extend his contract at the end of the year. This might be regrettable, but it does not jeopardize the Pact nor does this create a risk of the Pact falling apart, as the article erroneously states. Simply because the Stability Pact is an initiative carried by over 40 countries and institutions, and is therefore not dependent on one person or post alone.