Greek stocks ended sharply higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday with the composite index of the market rising above the 620-point level on market expectations that a meeting between Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and representative of the institutions in Brussels will have a positive outcome. Bank share were at the focus of buying activity.
The composite index rose 2.46 pct to end at 623.79 points, off the day’s highs of 3.12 pct. The index ended the week with a net loss of 0.82 pct, for a decline of 3.08 pct so far this year. The Large Cap index rose 2.54 pct and the Mid Cap index rose 1.78 pct. Turnover was an improved 61.728 million euros in volume of 115,289,463 shares.
Sarantis (2.22 pct) and Grivalia Properties (0.39 pct) were the only blue chip stocks to end lower, while Piraeus Bank (9.32 pct), Eurobank (7.74 pct), Viohalco (6.96 pct), National Bank (6.57 pct) and Ellaktor (5.66 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day. All sector indices ended higher led by Banks (6.61 pct), Financial Services (3.35 pct), Utilities (2.48 pct) and Telecoms (1.78 pct). National Bank and Piraeus Bank were the most heavily traded securities of the day. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 70 to 37 with another 30 issues unchanged. Chatzikraniotis (18.42 pct), Dionic (17.36 pct) and GE Demetriou (16.67 pct) were top gainers, while Mermeren (17.49 pct), FG Europe (9.27 pct) and Chaidemenos (9.24 pct) were top losers.
ADEX closing report
The February contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at a discount of 0.20 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Friday. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 3,402 contracts with 9,000 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 106,262 contracts with investment interest focusing on National Bank’s contracts (46,093), followed by Alpha Bank (11,968), Piraeus Bank (26,839), Eurobank (15,875), MIG (2,119), OTE (258), PPC (612), OPAP (213), Hellenic Exchanges (170), Viohalco (1,131), Mytilineos (473) and Ellaktor (268).
Greek bond market closing report
The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds eased to 7.39 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Friday. The Greek bond yielded 7.71 pct and the German Bund yielded 0.32 pct. Turnover was a thin 2.0 million euros, all buy orders.
In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month rate rose to -0.101 pct from -0.102 pct, the nine-month rate fell to -0.161 pct from -0.159 pct, the six-month rate was -0.242 pct, the three-month rate was -0.328 pct and the one-month rate was -0.373 pct.
**** The minimum wage in Greece was 684 euros as of January 1, 2017, Eurostat said on Friday. In an announcement, the EU executive’s statistics service, said that 22 out of the EU 28 member states have national minimum wages (with the exception of Denmark, Italy, Cyprus, Austria, Finland and Sweden).
Eurostat said that compared with 2008, national minimum wages grew in all member-states except for Greece where the minimum wage fell 14 pct. In the period 2008-2017, minimum wages doubled in Bulgaria (109 pct) and Romania (99 pct), while significant increases were recorded in Slovakia (80 pct), Estonia (69 pct), Latvia (65 pct) and Lithuania (64 pct).
The 22 EU Member States that have national minimum wages can be divided into three main groups based on the level in euro.
In January 2017, 10 Member States, located in the east of the EU, had minimum wages below 500 euros per month:
Bulgaria (235), Romania (275), Latvia and Lithuania (both 380), the Czech Republic (407)
In five other Member States, located in the south, minimum wages were between 500 and 1,000 per month: Portugal (650), Greece (684), Malta (736), Slovenia (805) and Spain (826).
In the remaining seven Member States, all located in the west and north of the EU, minimum wages were well above 1,000 per month: the United Kingdom (1,397), France (1,480), Germany (1,498), Belgium (1,532), the Netherlands (1,552), Ireland (1,563) and Luxembourg (1,999).
For comparison, the federal minimum wage in the United States was 1,192 per month in January 2017.
Across the 22 Member States concerned, minimum wages range from less than 300 euros per month in both Bulgaria (235) and Romania (275) to just below 2,000 euros a month in Luxembourg (1,999).
**** Greek unemployment rate eased to 23 pct of the workforce in November 2016, from 24.5 pct in November 2015, but unchanged compared with October 2016, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Thursday.
The statistics service, in a report, said that the number of unemployed people totaled 1,100,118 in November, but the unemployment rate grew by two points in the 55-64 age group within 12 months.
The number of unemployed people fell by 76,455 compared with November 2015 (a decline of 6.5 pct) and by 1,768 compared with October 2016 (a decline of 0.2 pct). The number of employed people was 3,683,795 people, up 49,141 or 1.4 pct compared with November 2015 but down 1,338 from October 2016.
The number of economically-non active people (out of work and not seeking a job) was 3,252,309 in November, down by 6,710 compared with November 2015 but up 3,103 from October 2016.
The unemployment rate among women was 27.5 pct and among men 19.4 pct (down from 28.7 pct and 21.1 pct from November 2015, respectively).
**** Nominal apartment prices are estimated to have declined marginally on average by 0.6 pct year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2016, whilst in 2016 as a whole apartment prices fell on average by 2.2 pct, compared with an average drop of 5.1 pct in 2015, the Bank of Greece said on Thursday.
More specifically, the central bank in its report said that in the fourth quarter of 2016, prices of “new” apartments (up to 5 years old) dropped by 0.9 pct year-on-year and prices of “old” apartments (over 5 years old) fell by 0.4 pct year-on-year. For the whole of 2016, prices of “new” apartments declined by 2.9 pct, against a decline of 5.6 pct in 2015, whereas “old” apartment prices declined by 1.8 pct in 2016, against a drop of 4.7 pct in 2015.
According to data broken down by geographical area, in the fourth quarter of 2016 apartment prices are estimated to have marginally declined year-on-year in Athens, Thessaloniki and other cities by 0.4 pct, 0.5 pct and 0.6 pct, respectively, and in other areas of Greece by 1.1 pct. For the whole of 2016, apartment prices dropped on average by 1.7 pct, 3.3 pct, 2.2 pct and 2.9 pct, respectively, in the above-mentioned areas. Finally, as regards all urban areas of the country, in the fourth quarter of 2016 apartment prices marginally declined by 0.5 pct year-on-year, whereas for the whole of 2016 the average annual decline was 2.2 pct.
**** Greek industrial production rose 2.2 pct in December 2016, for a 2.3 pct average rise in 2016, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Thursday. The statistics service, in a report, said that manufacturing production fell 1.9 pct in December but grew 4.0 pct in 2016.
The composite industrial production index rose 2.2 pct in December compared with the same month in 2015, after a 6.9 pct increase recorded in the 2015/2014 period. This development reflected a 0.6 pct increase in the mining production index, a 15.9 pct jump in electricity production, while manufacturing production fell 1.9 pct (beverage production down 12.5 pct, clothing down 11.4 pct, electronics/optics down 27.9 pct, transport equipment down 21.4 pct and furniture down 16.8 pct). Water production fell 1.0 pct in December.
The average industrial production index in the January-December 2016 period grew 2.3 pct compared with 2015, while the seasonally-adjusted index grew 2.2 pct over the same period.
**** Car registrations grew 22.8 pct in January this year totaling 13,096 cars (new or used ones) from 10,665 in the same month of 2016, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Wednesday.
The statistics service, in a monthly report, said that new car registrations totaled 7,146 in January, from 6,248 in January 2016, for an increase of 14.4 pct.
Motorcycle registrations (new and used ones) totaled 1,063 in January, down 37.9 pct from the same month last year. New motorcycle registrations totaled 915 in January, down 41.8 pct from January 2016.
**** Greek trade balance figures released by Hellenic Statistical Authority on Tuesday fully confirmed estimates made by the Panhellenic Exporters Association of breaking -for the second successive year- an export record (excluding oil products), the association said in a report.
The Panhellenic Exporters Association said that Greek exports rose to 18.59 billion euros last year, from 18.36 billion in 2015 despite pressures appearing in certain export sectors in December.
Greek exports to EU member-states grew 1.8 pct in 2016, but fell 6.1 pct to third countries. Excluding oil products, Greek exports to the EU grew 4.4 pct in 2016, but fell 4.8 pct to third countries, reflecting changes in the euro/dollar exchange rate. In December, only two sectors recorded a decline in 2016 (olive oil -32.5 pct and machinery -24.8 pct), while the remaining eight sectors moved upwards, led by the oil products sector (29 pct) and food (11.3 pct). In 2016, six sectors fell (raw materials -1.0 pct, oil products -9.1 pct, industrial products -3.9 pct, machinery -0.8 pct and confidential products -21.6 pct) and four moved upwards (food 9.8 pct, tobacco 10 .5 pct, chemicals 0.5 pct and various industrial products 6.9 pct).
The statistics service said that the Greek trade deficit grew 4.8 pct in December as imports grew more than exports in the last month of 2016.The statistics service, in a report, said that the country’s trade deficit grew 4.5 pct on average in 2016 as import grew slightly and exports fell in the year. The value of import-arrivals totaled 3,868 billion euros in December, up 3.7 pct from the same month in 2015 (excluding oil products, the value of imports grew 1.2 pct). The value of export-deliveries totaled 2.301 billion euros in December, up 3.0 pct from the same month in 2015 (excluding oil products, the value of exports fell 5.0 pct).The country’s trade deficit amounted to 1.566 billion euros in December, up 4.8 pct from December 2015 (excluding oil products the trade deficit jumped 11 pct).In the January-December 2016 period, the value of imports totaled 43,963 billion euros, up 0.8 pct from the previous year (excluding oil products imports grew 5.9 pct). The value of exports totaled 25.411 billion euros in 2016, down 1.8 pct from the previous year (excluding oil products exports grew 1.2 pct).The country’s trade deficit amounted to 18.551 billion euros in 2016, from 17.745 billion in 2015, an increase of 4.5 pct (excluding oil products the trade deficit grew 11.8 pct).