Banks lead fresh drop on bourse

Kathimerini English - - Business & Finance -

Mar­ket doubts re­gard­ing the out­come of the up­com­ing Euro­pean Union sum­mit and the process of pass­ing the gov­ern­ment’s midterm fis­cal plan through Par­lia­ment in Greece in­flicted fresh losses on lo­cal stocks yes­ter­day.

The Athens Ex­change (ATHEX) gen­eral in­dex ended at 1,241.82 points, con­tract­ing by 2.33 per­cent from Wed­nes­day’s close at 1,271.43 points.

The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 in­dex shrank by 2.80 per­cent to end at 553.66 points.

The mid-cap FTSE/ATHEX 40 in­dex fared bet­ter, shed­ding 1.37 per­cent.

The banks sec­toral in­dex fell by 3.78 per­cent, con­tin­u­ing its roller­coaster course.

All but one blue chip reg­is­tered losses, led by Al­pha Bank (down 4.80 per­cent), Na­tional Bank (4.55 per­cent), ATEbank (4.07 per­cent), Hel­lenic Post­bank (3.93 per­cent), Pi­raeus Bank (3.77 per­cent) and El­lak­tor (3.48 per­cent). Marfin In­vest­ment Group was the only non-mover.

In to­tal, 36 stocks moved up, 92 went down and 44 re­mained un­changed. Akri­tas posted the big­gest rise with gains of 19.05 per­cent, while Space Hel­las led the losers, de­clin­ing by 19.17 per­cent.

Turnover dropped to just 57.2 mil­lion eu­ros yes­ter­day from 83.3 mil­lion on Wed­nes­day.

Na­tional Bank (NBG) Chair­man Vas­silis Ra­panos is seen on a screen dur­ing yes­ter­day’s share­holder assem­bly. NBG ex­pects non­per­form­ing loans to peak this year but added that it has the prof­its to ab­sorb them. ‘NBG’s pre-pro­vi­sion earn­ings cover group pro­vi­sions by 1.5 times, mean­ing we can ab­sorb a 50 per­cent in­crease in pro­vi­sions with­out a need to tap cap­i­tal re­serves,’ NBG Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Apos­to­los Tam­vakakis told the bank’s an­nual share­hold­ers meet­ing. Look­ing at de­posits, he said Na­tional Bank was far­ing bet­ter than the sec­tor, with its base down 2.1 per­cent in the first four months of the year ver­sus a 3.8 per­cent drop in the sys­tem. A shrink­ing de­posit base has added to the strains of Greek banks, which have be­come re­liant on ECB fund­ing for their liq­uid­ity needs as ac­cess to whole­sale fund­ing re­mains shut on sov­er­eign debt con­cerns. Tam­vakakis said NBG had 13.2 bil­lion eu­ros in gov­ern­ment bonds and 1.6 bil­lion eu­ros of T-bills in its port­fo­lio.

Ir­ish Fi­nance Min­is­ter Michael Noo­nan (right) is seen seated next to his Greek coun­ter­part Evan­ge­los Venize­los at a Eurogroup meet­ing ear­lier this week. Noo­nan said yes­ter­day he’s con­sid­er­ing get­ting T-shirts printed that say ‘Ire­land is not Greece,’ in an at­tempt to dis­tance Ire­land from other debt-bur­dened na­tions. ‘We won’t give them away, we’ll sell them,’ Noo­nan said in Dublin.

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