Bank chips in­flict record ATHEX fall

Bourse re­opens af­ter five-week clo­sure, post­ing losses of over 16 pct for the bench­mark; drop set to con­tinue

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The re­open­ing of the Greek bourse yesterday af­ter five weeks of no trade saw losses mount to an all-time record of 16.23 points. The ses­sion was also marked by par­tic­u­larly low trad­ing vol­ume as the sale or­ders for bank stocks could not be served be­cause the credit sec­tor’s chips had al­ready reached their limit down. Over 8 bil­lion eu­ros in stock value was wiped out within less than seven hours of trad­ing.

Although not quite the Black Mon­day the mar­ket had feared, as non- bank­ing blue chips did not crum­ble as an­tic­i­pated, the Athens Ex­change (ATHEX) gen­eral in­dex closed at 668.06 points, hav­ing started from the 797.52 points reached back on June 26. A few min­utes af­ter the start it dropped as low as 615 points (al­most 23 per­cent down).

The large-cap FTSE 25 in­dex de­clined 16.37 per­cent to 201.73 points, but banks went as low as they could with their in­dex shed­ding 29.92 per­cent. Greek stocks can­not drop any more than 30 per­cent in one ses­sion.

In to­tal nine stocks posted gains, 84 suf­fered losses and three closed un­changed. Turnover amounted to 66.9 mil­lion eu­ros.

The cap­i­tal con­trols in place meant that Greek traders could only sell and not buy stocks un­less they brought in new money. For­eign traders have no re­stric­tions. The Cap­i­tal Mar­ket Com­mis­sion also banned short selling.

The back­log of sale or­ders for bank stocks is set to take the bourse lower still as of to­day, although some other fi­nan­cial sec­tors are ex­pected to show some re­sis­tance. Na­tional and Pi­raeus fell 30 per­cent, Eurobank lost 29.86 per­cent and Al­pha 29.81 per­cent. Aegean Air­lines dipped just 0.49 per­cent.

Hel­lenic Ex­changes head Sokratis Lazaridis ex­pressed hope that the bourse could start re­cov­er­ing from as early as to­day, at least in some sec­tors, and that com­pa­nies would not start delist­ing from the ever-thin­ning Greek mar­ket, which is now only worth just over 40 bil­lion eu­ros.

Shadow Fi­nance Min­is­ter Christos Staik­ouras, an MP with the New Democ­racy party, said that “the gov­ern­ment’s ir­re­spon­si­bil­ity, its move­ments back and forth and its am­a­teur han­dling, the point­less state­ments on the bank­ing sys­tem and on spe­cific banks, the dan­ger­ous Plan B games and the plan for a re­turn to the drachma, the bank shut­down and the cap­i­tal con­trols due to the gov­ern­ment’s ac­tion and ne­glect have all led to the crum­bling of the stock mar­ket.”

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