Greek stocks ended higher in the last trading session of a negative week in the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday, although trading remained at very low levels once again. The composite index of the market rose 1.10 pct to end at 675.17 points, off the day’s highs of 678.60 points, reversing a four-day decline which pushed the index 4.26 pct down. The index ended the week with a net loss of 3.21 pct, it is up 8.17 pct so far in September but 18.28 pct down so far this year.
The Large Cap index rose 1.30 pct and the Mid Cap index rose 1.19 pct. Turnover was a low 17.51 million euros with volume of 78,059,834.
Alpha Bank (8.87 pct), Eurobank (6.90 pct) and Piraeus Bank (5.62 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Hellenic Exchanges (1.70 pct), Aegean Airlines (1.12 pct) and Titan (1.11 pct) suffered heavy losses.
Among market sectors, Banks (6.15 pct), Chemicals (3.63 pct) and Oil (2.07 pct) scored big gains, while Insurance (2.07 pct), Financial Services (1.52 pct) and Real Estate (0.30 pct) suffered heavy losses.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 52 to 37 with another 14 issues unchanged. Progressive (18.84 pct), Akritas (18.42 pct) and Kekrops (9.32 pct) were top gainers, while Audiovisual (29.57 pct), Kathimerini (19.42 pct) and Dionic (19.23 pct) were top losers.
ADEX closing report
The October contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a discount of 0.09 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Friday. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 1,478 contracts with 9,927 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 25,987 contracts with investment interest focusing on Alpha Bank’s contracts (11,341), followed by National Bank (4,693), Piraeus Bank (5,527), Eurobank (3,077), PPC (568), OPAP (122), Mytilineos (162), Hellenic Exchanges (79) and Hellenic Petroleum (68).
Greek bond market closing report
The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds eased to 7.85 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Friday, from 7.95 pct the previous day, with the Greek bond yielding 8.49 pct and the German Bund yielding 0.64 pct. Turnover was a thin 1.0 million euros, one buy order.
In interbank markets, interest rates moved lower. The 12-month rate eased to 0.146 pct from 0.148 pct, the nine-month rate was unchanged at 0.081 pct, the six-month rate fell to 0.030 pct from 0.032 pct, the three-month rate fell to -0.041 pct from -0.040 pct and the one-month rate was unchanged at -0.111 pct.
**** The Greek government on Thursday announced a primary budget surplus of 3.798 billion euros in the January-August period, from a primary surplus of 1.946 billion euros in the same period last year and a budget target for a primary surplus of 3.264 billion.
The General Accounting Office, in a report on budget execution, said that the general government deficit totaled 1.104 billion euros in the eight-month period, from a shortfall of 2.849 billion euros last year and a budget target for a deficit of 1.694 billion euros.
Net budget revenue totaled 30.765 billion euros, down 11.9 pct or 4.153 billion euros from targets, of which 1.724 billion were a shortfall in revenue from the transfer of ANFAs and SMPs (European central banks’ profits from Greek state bond holdings) and another 917 million euros from a shortfall in property taxes.
Regular budget net revenue totaled 28.699 billion euros, down 4.070 billion, or 12.4 pct from targets. Other direct taxes surpassed targets by 2.9 pct, tobacco taxes were 9.4 pct higher, vehicle registration duties were up 33.4 pct from targets, other consumption taxes surpassed targets by 4.7 pct and other non-tax revenue were up 8.2 pct in the January-August period.
On the other hand, income tax revenues fell short of targets by 8.6 pct, corporate tax revenue were down 18.3 pct from targets, special category income tax revenues were down 15.6 pct, VAT on oil products fell short by 15.2 pct and other VAT revenues were down 6.6 pct in the eight-month period.
Tax returns totaled 1.772 billion euros, down 250 million from targets. Public Investment Program revenue totaled 2.067 billion euros, down 83 million from targets.
**** Greek banks’ deposits grew slightly in August, for the first time after 10 successive months of decline, the Bank of Greece said on Friday.
The central bank, in a report, said that deposits by enterprises and households grew to 121.1 billion euros in August from 120.8 billion at the end of July. This increase reflects the imposition of capital controls in the market and a stabilisation in the market. Bank deposits are down 14 pct in the last six months.
**** Greece’s financial institutions will hold a series of meetings with international investors who already participate in the country’s systemic banks in view of the recapitalization process to be completed later this year.
During these meetings, bank officials will inform investors about general issues regarding Greek banks as the exact procedure and the terms of the recapitalization will be set towards the end of next month.
In particular, the programme includes participation in the annual investment conferences of major firms like Merrill Lynch in London, UBS in Frankfurt, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank.
**** The European Investment Bank (EIB) loan disbursed on Wednesday 300 million euros for Greece to be used to cover the country’s participation in the 2014-20 National Strategic Reference Framework (ESPA) program.
The loan tranche is part of a 1-billion-euro loan the country signed with EIB at the end of August and it is double the amount which is usually disbursed, as the bank agreed on the immediate need to increase the liquidity of those programs.
It was also agreed to increase by 50 million euros the existing loan for the implementation of the 2007-2013 ESPA.
**** Building materials’ prices fell 1.8 pct in August, largely reflecting a big drop in international oil prices, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Wednesday.
The statistics service, in a report, said that diesel oil prices fell 15.4 pct in the month, window prices were down 5.8 pct, steel pipes fell 4.9 pct, interior door prices eased 3.0 pct, lift prices fell 2.6 pct, wooden floor prices eased 2.3 pct, cement prices were down 2.3 pct and tiles fell 2.2 pct, while on the other hand brick prices rose 2.7 pct and electricity prices rose 0.7 pct.
The new home building materials’ price composite index fell 1.8 pct in August compared with the same month last year, and eased 0.2 pct compared with July 2015.
**** Greece’s liabilities to the Eurozone’s bank payment system, Target 2, jumped to the highest levels since 2012 as fears Greece would be forced to leave the Eurozone led to massive capital outflows from the country.
The Bank of Greece’s net liabilities towards the European Central Bank totaled 106.13 billion euros at the end of July, data from the Target 2 payment system showed on Monday.
The Target 2 system facilitates payments between banks in the Eurozone by channeling payments through each national central bank’s account at the ECB. Greece’s net liabilities totaled 107.7 billion euros at the end of June when the Greek government imposed capital controls in the country.
**** Premium production in the Greek insurance market fell 0.6 pct in the January-July period this year, compared with the same period in 2014, a report by the Union of Greek Insurance Companies said on Monday.
The report, based on figures offered by 57 insurance companies representing 95.8 pct of total premium production, said that premium production in life insurance contracts grew 10.5 pct in the seven-month period, while damage contract production fell 9.6 pct over the same period. In July, premium production in life insurance contracts fell significantly (-17 pct), hit by the imposition of capital controls in the country.
***** The European Commission on Thursday asked Greece to raise currently low taxes on the locally-produced alcoholic drinks ‘tsipouro’ and ‘tsikoudia’ – currently half the normal rate – and bring them in line with taxes on other alcoholic beverages.
The Commission also objects to the extremely low tax rate (6 pct of the standard consumption tax rate) imposed when the same drinks are produced in bulk by farmers using so-called “two-day stills”.
According to a reasoned opinion sent by the European Commission, both tax regimes are in contravention of EU consumption tax rules and favour locally produced alcoholic beverages over those produced in other member-states, violating EU rules on the free circulation of goods.
Greece now has two months in which to reply, after which the Commission can refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.
Tsipouro and tsikoudia are both traditional alcoholic drinks with a protected designation of origin produced in northern Greece and Crete, respectively.