Greek stocks ended significantly lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday. Market sentiment was dampened by a worsening situation in Italy, with the Italian bond spread rising to their highest level in five years.
Bank shares were at the focus of selling activity, along with the shares of Motor Oil and Viohalco. The general index of the market fell 1.12 pct to end at 624.81 points, off the day’s lows of 621.90 points. The index ended 0.56 pct lower in the week, losing 9.67 pct in October and 22.13 pct so far this year.
The Large Cap index fell 0.89 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 1.10 pct lower. Turnover was 38.428 million euros in volume of 14,766,190 shares. Titan (2.68 pct), Hellenic Petroleum (0.87 pct) and ADMIE (0.76 pct) scored big gains among blue chip stocks, while Piraeus Bank (4.97 pct), Viohalco (4.70 pct), Motor Oil (3.86 pct), Athens Water (2.75 pct) and Sarantis (2.35 pct) suffered heavy losses.
Among market sectors, Construction was the only one to move higher (1.04 pct), while Health (2.67 pct), Oil (2.66 pct) and Banks (2.10 pct) suffered losses. Eurobank and Alpha Bank were the most heavily traded securities of the day. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 71 to 24 with another 24 issues unchanged. Nexans (28 pct), G.E.Dimitriou (20 pct) were top gainers, while Audiovisual (8.26 pct) and Techniki Olympic (7.58 pct) were top losers.
Greek bond market closing report
The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds widened slightly to 4.04 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Friday, from 3.98 pct the previous day, with the Greek bond yielding 4.47 pct (4.42 pct on Thursday) and the German Bund yielding 0.43 pct. Turnover was 29 million euros of which 20 million were buy orders.
In interbank markets, interest rates moved upwards. The 12-month rate was -0.154 pct, the nine-month rate was -0.203 pct, the six-month rate was -0.265 pct, the three-month rate was -0.316 pct and the one-month rate was -0.369 pct.
**** Registered unemployment rose 1.97 pct in September, compared with the same month last year, the Labour Employment Organisation (OAED) said in a report released on Friday.
The number of registered unemployed (seeking jobs) totaled 815,720 in September from 799,964 in September 2017, of which 481,833 (59.07 pct) were registered for more than 12 months. The number of unemployed men totaled 293,221 (35.95 pct) and unemployed women were 522,499 (64.05 pct). The number of registered unemployed not seeking jobs totaled 123,465 in September, up 43.47 pct from September 2017, of which 46,916 (38 pct) were long-term unemployed and 76,549 (62 pct) were unemployed for less than 12 months.
The number of people receiving unemployment benefit totaled 138,798 in September.
OAED said the number of registered unemployed in September was down 3.06 pct from August 2018.
**** Industrial turnover grew 20.5 pct in August this year, reflecting a 20.6 pct increase in the manufacturing turnover, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Friday.
The statistics service, in a report, said that the industrial turnover composite index (measuring both the domestic and external markets) grew 20.5 pct in August compared with the same month last year, after a 6.5 pct rise recorded in the 2017/2016 period. It attributed this development to a 9.9 pct increase in the mining turnover index and a 20.6 pct jump in the manufacturing turnover index (tobacco, oil products, chemicals and base metals). The domestic market index rose 21.1 pct in August while the external market index rose 19.6 pct.
The index was down 8.6 pct in August from July 2018.
**** Greek state budget primary surplus totaled 3.8 billion euros in the January-September period, up from 3.0 billion in the corresponding period last year, the Bank of Greece said on Thursday.
The central bank, in a report, said that the central government recorded a deficit of 1.626 billion euros in the nine-month period on a cash basis, up from a shortfall of 1.067 billion euros in the same period last year. Regular budget revenue totaled 35.801 billion euros, up from 34.065 billion in 2017, while regular budget spending (including 2.274 billion euros in payment of state arrears to the private sector) totaled 37.691 billion euros from 37.664 billion in January-September 2017.
**** Owners of short-term rentals must finalize their profile data on the “Registry for Properties of Short-Term Stay” by November 30, 2018, according to a decision made public on Friday by the Independent Authority of Public Revenue (AADE).
Owners of short-term rentals, which include popular online platforms like AirBnB, should generally by registered by February 28 of the year they plan to file rental income, AADE said.
The decisions amend law POL. 1197/2017, AADE director Giorgos Pitsilis said on Friday.
**** The Greek merchant shipping fleet grew 0.2 pct in August totaling 1,864 ships, compared with the same month last year, after an 1.3 pct increase recorded in the 2017/2016 period, Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Thursday.
The statistics service, in a monthly report, said that total capacity of the Greek merchant shipping fleet fell 3.6 pct to 42,126,905 dwt compared with the same period last year.
**** Greece on Wednesday revised its estimate for GDP growth in 2017 upwards to 1.5 pct, from an initial estimate of 1.4 pct in March.
Hellenic Statistical Authority, in a report released on Wednesday, said this upward revision was attributed to the exploitation of new data and the integration of updated data from various sources such as: household final consumption spending, general government data for 2015-2017, data for the agricultural sector in 2015-2017, balance of payments, employment figures and short-term indexes for 2015-2017.
The statistics service said the Greek Gross Domestic Product approached 180 billion euros in 2017 and noted that final consumption spending grew 0.6 pct (from a 0.2 pct decline initially estimated), with household consumption up 0.9 pct and general government consumption down 0.4 pct. Imports of goods and services rose 7.1 pct (first estimate 7.2 pct) and exports of goods and services rose 6.8 pct (unchanged from the first estimate). Private investments (gross fixed capital formation) rose 9.1 pct.
In current prices, GDP grew 2.1 pct in 2017 (up from a 2.0 pct first estimate in March), reflecting an 1.3 pct increase in final consumption spending, a 12.8 pct increase in imports and a 12.1 pct rise in exports.
**** The liquidity of banks is improving, deposits are returning and 2019 will be the first year that there will be credit expansion for business loans. These were the conclusions of a meeting on Tuesday between the Development Ministry, the Hellenic Bank Association and representatives from the boards of Greece’s four systemic banks.
At the meeting, that was chaired by Vice President and Development Minister Yiannis Dragasakis, the officials spoke about the relative low demand for non-business loans but also recognized that just as the improved macroeconomic environment helped the liquidity of banks, as will the drop in unemployment and the improvement in the situation of the community have a positive impact on banks and demand for private loans.
**** Greek Economy and Development Minister Yiannis Dragasakis on Friday met with Dimitris Papalexopoulos, the CEO of Titan Group.
During the meeting, Papalexopoulos briefed the Economy Minister over Titan Group’s plan to seek the listing of the company in Euronext Brussels, with a parallel listing in the Athens Stock Exchange and Euronext Paris, along with the transfer of the company’s base in Brussels. This plan is part of an extrovert strategy of the company and the upgrading of its access to international capital markets. Papalexopoulos noted that Titan Group’s presence in Greece remained stable, both in production, job positions and investment and through its secondary trading in the Athens Stock Exchange.
Both sides exchanged views on the Greek economy which is now on a recovery course and an improvement of the business climate that will positively affect business activity, investments and employment.