Bank stocks join trad­ing; no volatil­ity limit change

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

For­eign in­vestors will not face re­stric­tions on oper­a­tions when trade re­sumes at Greece’s stock ex­change this morn­ing, fol­low­ing a five-week shut­down caused by cap­i­tal con­trols, a stock ex­change spokes­woman said, while volatil­ity lim­its would re­main un­changed at 30 per­cent and all shares would be traded, in­clud­ing bank­ing stocks. Lo­cal in­vestors will face re­stric­tions aimed at stem­ming cap­i­tal flight, she added. The Athens Stock Ex­change (ATHEX) has been shut since June 29, when the gov­ern­ment closed banks and im­posed strict lim­its on with­drawals and for­eign trans­fers to avert a run on de­posits. The Fi­nance Min­istry cleared the way for the ex­change to re­sume oper­a­tions by is­su­ing a de­cree set­ting out new trad­ing rules for lo­cal in­vestors. “Af­ter the fi­nance min­is­ter signed the rel­e­vant de­cree [on Fri­day], the Athens Stock Ex­change board ... de­cided to re­open the mar­kets of Athens Stock Ex­change on Mon­day, Au­gust 3,” the spokes­woman said. Un­der the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank-ap­proved plan, lo­cal in­vestors will be al­lowed to buy shares with ex­ist­ing cash hold­ings, but not to with­draw money from their Greek bank ac­counts to buy shares. Some mar­ket par­tic­i­pants had warned that un­lim­ited trad­ing for do­mes­tic in­vestors would have posed a se­ri­ous risk for lenders by ac­cel­er­at­ing cap­i­tal out­flows. Lo­cal bro­ker­ages, how­ever, crit­i­cized the curb on the use of lo­cal bank de­posits for buy­ing se­cu­ri­ties, say­ing it risked dis­tort­ing the mar­ket. “We strongly op­pose any cap­i­tal con­trols re­lated to the use of ex­ist­ing funds de­posited in the Greek bank­ing sys­tem,” the As­so­ci­a­tion of Mem­bers of the Athens Ex­change (SME-

Stor­age dis­count. Pi­raeus Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal is grant­ing a 30 per­cent dis­count on stor­age fees for con­tain­ers stranded last month due to closed banks. Some 2,500 con­tain­ers with im­ports cre­ated a huge back­log that is now be­ing tack­led.

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