OTE news arrives too late to lift index

Soft blue chips led Greek stocks lower yesterday in cautious trade as uncertainty about the final outcome of OTE Telecom’s talks on restructuring its biggest foreign investment continued to weigh on the broader market. News that OTE had won approval from Romania for a $200 million share capital increase which will lead to the Greek operator getting a majority in Romtelecom came too late, after the close of trade, to help market sentiment. «Under the weight of OTE developments, there was a general reluctance in the market,» said Costas Theodoropoulos, fund manager at Allianz. The Athens benchmark general index eased 0.90 percent to 1,761.29. It lost 3.2 percent this week. Blue chips on the bourse’s ASE/FTSE-20 index fell 1.32 percent to 870.92 points. Mid-caps dropped 0.94 percent and small-caps, 0.15 percent. Turnover was 59.22 million euros on 15.2 million shares traded. Losers beat winners 209 to 86 with 54 shares unchanged on 349 traded. (Reuters)