Stocks ended significantly higher during the last trading session of the week at the Athens Stock Exchange (the market will be closed on Friday on the occasion of a national holiday), amid a positive climate in other European markets despite worries over a political crisis in Portugal.
The composite index of the market rose 2.13 pct to end at 1,622.15 points, for a net gain of 1.78 pct in the week. Turnover, however, remained a low 88.119 million euros. The Big Cap index jumped 2.44 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 1.79 pct higher and the Small Cap index rose 0.80 pct.
3E (0.21 pct) was the only blue chip stock to end lower and Jumbo remained unchanged, while MIG (7.41 pct), Mytilineos (4.13 pct), National Bank (4.36 pct) and PPC (3.68 pct) were top gainers. The Commerce (5.45 pct), Financial Services (4.73 pct), Utilities (3.20 pct) and Banks (2.94 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Insurance (1.56 pct), Media (0.89 pct) and Food (0.22 pct) were top losers.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 88 to 56 with another 52 issues unchanged. Euromedica (19.14 pct), AXON Holdings (18.52 pct) and Imperio (15.15 pct) were top gainers, while Varvaressos (20 pct), Edrasi (14.29 pct) and Alter (11.49 pct) were top losers.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: +2.14%
Personal & Household: +0.52%
Raw Materials: +3.77%
Travel & Leisure: +2.38%
Food & Beverages: -0.22%
Financial Services: +4.73%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, OPAP, Alpha Bank and Eurobank.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 5.05
Public Power Corp (PPC): 12.67
HBC Coca Cola: 18.63
Hellenic Petroleum: 7.67
National Bank of Greece: 6.94
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 4.85
Bank of Piraeus: 1.57
ADEX closing report
The March contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at a discount of 0.46 pct in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Thursday, with turnover remaining a low 32.952 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 7,021 contracts, worth 26.045 million euros, with 25,856 short positions in the market.
Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 10,829 contracts worth 6.907 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank’s contracts (2,197), followed by Eurobank (878), MIG (799), Piraeus Bank (1,005), Alpha Bank (1,530), Marfin Popular Bank (1,076), Mytilineos (998) and GEK (424).
Foreign Exchange rates
U.S. dollar 1.424
Pound sterling 0.881
Danish kroner 7.516
Swedish kroner 9.017
Japanese yen 115.25
Swiss franc 1.292
Norwegian kroner 7.946
Canadian dollar 1.392
Australian dollar 1.399
**** Domestic tourism is expected to fall by 20 pct this year, compared with 2010, Andreas Andreadis, president of the Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers said on Wednesday. Andreadis said although this trend was not expected to significantly affect total tourism figures, it raised doubts over the viability of mostly medium-sized hotels which were exclusively dependent on domestic tourism The rent room sector, which attracts the majority of Greek tourists has 40,000 enterprises with 500,000 beds, or 50 pct of the touristic potential of the country, offering more than 100,000 jobs.
Andreadis said increasing insecurity of Greek citizens over their finances would greatly limit domestic tourism this year, despite an expected recovery in incoming tourism in the country.
Domestic tourism fell 5.3 pct in early last year, recording declines of 12.8 pct in the summer season and falling by 11.3 pct in the September-December period. It was the Greek tourist, however, who helped the country’s tourism industry in 2009 helping to raise -slightly- overnight stays in Greek hotels and campings, according to figures released by Hellenic Statistical Authority. Overnight stays in hotels and campings grew 0.6 pct in 2009, with Greek tourists rising 9.6 pct and foreign tourists falling 2.7 pct in the year.
**** The Greek government on Wednesday unveiled a new program aimed at offering incentives for the set up of new innovative enterprises, or supporting existing ones in developing innovative products and services.
The program, budgetted at 30 million euros, will begin next month and envisages offering financial support to manufacturing enterprises (30,000-300,000 euros), or other sectors (20,000-200,000 euros). Public funding will cover up to 50 pct of spending, while businessmen will have to cover at least 25 pct of the project in a wide range of businesses such as: machinery and laboratory equipment, IT/Telecommunications, patent-copyright, design and certificatin of products, services and procedures, technical, scientific and consulting support, promotion and communications, human resources and prototype development.
**** Piraeus Bank group on Thursday said pre-tax profits totaled 11 million euros last year, while net profits distributed to shareholders totaled 4.0 million euros in 2010, from 236 million euros in 2009. The Group said an extra tax charge of 24 million euros pushed results distributed to shareholders to a loss of 20 million euros from profits of 202 million euros in 2009.
Pre-provision and financial results earnings rose 2.0 pct to 611 million euros in 2010 from 600 million euros in 2009.
Assets rose 6.0 pct to 57.7 billion euros, loans after provisions totaled 37.6 billion euros, unchanged from 2009, saving deposits fell 2.0 pct to 30 billion euros, while the bank’s loans/saving rate was unchanged at 107 pct. Loans in delay more than 90 days totaled 7.6 pct.
Assets in markets outside Greece accounted for 21 pct of group assets, with international activities accounting for 48 pct of pre-provision earnings, 37 pct of net interest revenue, 59 pct of branch network and 52 pct of human resources.
Pre-tax and provisions earnings from international activities totaled 294 million euros and pre-tax earnings fell 39 pct to 52 million euros.
Commenting on the results, Mihalis Sallas, the bank’s chairman, said “improvement of the terms and lending mechanism for Greece by the European Union significantly facilitates the implementation of a stabilization and economic restructuring program. In this effort. The Greek banking system is contributing in a realistic and responsible way. It restructures its assets, supporting efforts made by healthy enterprises and boosting its capital base despite existing limitations in liquidity.”
Stavros Lekkakos, chief executive of the bank said the bank resisted pressures from an economic recession, supported by strong net interest revenue.
**** Alpha Bank Group on Tuesday said its net profits fell 62.2 pct in 2010 to 147.8 million euros, affected by an economic recession in the country. The bank said its profits totaled 85.6 million euros after an extra tax charge of 61.8 million euros.
Capital under management totaled 41.6 billion euros and saving deposits totaled 38.3 billion euros at the end of December 2010. Deposits in Greece totaled 31.1 billion euros, of which savings were 12.5 billion euros and time deposits were 18.6 billion euros. In Southeastern Europe, deposits totaled 6.8 billion euros, up 7.8 pct from the previous year. Private banking funds totaled 2.5 billion euros and mutual funds assets totaled 1.3 billion euros.
Lending, pre-write offs, fell 2.9 pct to 51.5 billion euros last year, reflecting an 1.1 pct fall in Greece and a 4.7 pct drop in Southeastern Europe. In the fourth quarter, lending portfolio assets fell 500 million euros, mainly in lending to medium and large enterprises.
Retail banking pre-tax earnings totaled 87.7 million euros in 2010, from 112.9 million in 2009, in mortgage credit lending growth slowed to 0.9 pct to 11.3 billion euros, consumer loans’ growth fell 4.8 pct to 3.6 billion euros and credit cards value was stable at 1.5 billion euros. Loans to small enterprises fell 3.3 pct and to very small enterprises were down 1.3 pct.
Commenting on the results, Yiannis Costopoulos, the bank’s chairman, said “Greece has commited to implementing a fiscal restructuring program which was expected to bring fundamental changes in the structure of the Greek economy. During this significant effort, Alpha Bank stands on a solid basis: confidence of both shareholders and customers and the dedication of its workers.”
“With confidence in our values, we believe we can deal successfully any adverse conditions and challenges based on our strong business abilities,” Costopoulos noted.