Stocks ended slightly lower at the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday as investors took profits ahead of Monday’s crucial Eurogroup meeting. Analysts said market sentiment remained positive over the outcome of the meeting. The composite index of the market eased 0.21 pct to end at 845.04 points, off the day’s lows of 0.93 pct. The index jumped 6.90 pct in the week, standing 24.19 pct up so far this year. Turnover, however, eased to 58.777 million euros.
The Big Cap index eased 0.20 pct and the Mid Cap index ended 1.05 pct lower. The Oil (3.53 pct), Technology (0.53 pct) and Financial Services (0.47 pct) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Personal Products (2.49 pct), Commerce (1.14 pct) and Food (1.04 pct) suffered losses.
Cyprus Popular Bank (11.32 pct), Cyprus Bank (7.24 pct), Hellenic Petroleum (3.54 pct) and Eurobank (2.81 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while Alpha Bank (3.08 pct), Metka (2.99 pct), Ellaktor (2.72 pct) and Piraeus Bank (2.40 pct) were top losers.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 71 to 63 with another 30 issues unchanged. HOL (19.31 pct), Fieratex (16.88 pct), Alsinco (13.21 pct) were top gainers, while Pairis (30 pct), Atti-kat (20 pct) and Selman (19.77 pct) were top losers.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: +3.53%
Personal & Household: -2.49%
Raw Materials: -0.41%
Travel & Leisure: +0.09%
Food & Beverages: -1.04%
Financial Services: +0.47%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Alpha Bank, Bank of Cyprus and Piraeus Bank.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 1.89
Public Power Corp (PPC): 4.72
HBC Coca Cola: 17.22
Hellenic Petroleum: 6.73
National Bank of Greece: 1.73
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 0.92
Bank of Piraeus: 0.45
Greek bond market closing report
The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds was stable at 15.05 pct in the domestic electronic secondary bond market on Friday, with the Greek bond yielding 16.48 pct and the German Bund 1.45 pct. There was no turnover in the market.
In interbank markets, interest rates remained almost unchanged. The 12-month rate was 0.58 pct, the six-month rate was 0.35 pct, the three-month rate was 0.19 pct and the one-month rate was 0.10 pct.
Foreign Exchange rates
U.S. dollar 1.310
Pound sterling 0.822
Danish kroner 7.569
Swedish kroner 8.716
Japanese yen 107.78
Swiss franc 1.223
Norwegian kroner 7.438
Canadian dollar 1.305
Australian dollar 1.257
**** The Greek economy will shrink by 6.7 pct this year and by 4.7 pct in 2013, a report by National Bank, unveiled on Thursday, stated.
The bank, in its report, said the 2013 recession mainly reflects the strong negative impact from an accumulated shrinking of GDP this year and the implementation of a credible but strongly recession mixture of fiscal adjustment programme, based on a package of new fiscal measures representing 5.2 pct of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
National Bank’s analysts said an expected release of the next tranche of aid to Greece will have direct and indirect impact on the economy, by reducing uncertainty and improving economic climate in the country, while at the same time improving liquidity conditions in the economy.
**** Greece’s state budget cash deficit fell to 12.259 billion euros in the January-October period, down from a budget target for a deficit of 13.425 billion euros, while primary deficit was 1.140 billion euros in the 10-month period, down from a budget target of 2.294 billion. The budget deficit was down 41.9 pct compared with the corresponding period last year.
Net budget revenues totaled 41.777 billion euros in the January-October period, up 1.5 pct from the same period in 2011 and up 272 million euros compared with a revised budget target. Net regular budget revenues totaled 39.131 billion euros in the 10-month period, up 499 million euros from a 2012 budget target of 38.632 billion euros. This increase is attributed to higher revenues in October, receipts from capital taxes, the receipt of 79.5 million euros from Spain (return transfer from the Spanish central bank’s Greek bond holdings) and a satisfactory course of property tax receipts.
State budget spending totaled 54.036 billion euros in the January-October period, down 894 million euros from a budget target of 54.930 bln.
Regular budget spending fell short of budget targets by 368 million euros, reflecting lower primary spending by 280 million euros, lower spending on defense programmes and lower spending on subsidising state hospitals.
Spending on interest totaled 11.119 billion euros, slightly down from a budget target of 11.131 billion euros. State budget spending were down 13.2 pct compared with the corresponding period last year.
**** Greek households lost 5.4 billion euros from their available income in the second quarter of 2012, hit by cuts in wages and social benefits and higher tax burdens, the Hellenic Statistical Authority announced on Thursday.
The statistics service, in a report, said the available income of households and non-profit institutions servicing households fell by 13.6 pct in the second quarter of the year, compared with the same period in 2011 (34.1 billion euros from 39.5 billion euros, over the same periods, respectively).
This decline is attributed mainly to a 15.1 pct decline in workers’ incomes, a 9.5 pct reduction in social benefits and a 37.3 pct increase in taxes.
The report said that the decline in available income resulted to a 7.3 pct decline in final consumption spending to 37.1 billion euros in the April-June period, from 40 billion euros in 2011. Also the saving deposits rate, as a percentage of gross available income, fell further to -8.5 pct in the second quarter from -1.2 pct last year and net lending by banks dropped to 2.4 billion euros from 6.1 billion euros in 2011.
Gross fixed-capital investments in the non-financial sector, fell by 20.6 pct to 3.0 billion euros in the second quarter, with the rate of investments as a percentage of gross fixed-capital investments to gross added value was 17.5 pct this year, from 20.7 pct in 2011.
Exports and goods and services fell by 400 million euros to 12.8 billion euros in the second quarter, while imports dropped by 1.9 billion euros to 15.4 billion euros.
The general government’s net borrowing requirements totaled 4.2 billion euros in the second quarter of 2012, down from 6.1 billion euros in the corresponding period last year.
**** The European Investment Bank (EIB) on Wednesday approved a 650-million-euro loan to Greece aimed to support the restart of works in major Greek road projects. The loan will cover the Greek state’s financial obligations for the national road network linking Patras-Athens-Thessaloniki, with benefits for all contractors. This significant developments comes at a crucial moment, when negotiations to restarting the road project are currently underway.
“The decision will have significant impact on employment, development and will help towards the recovery of the Greek economy,” a Development ministry statement said.
EIB is supporting Greece’s efforts to return to growth and plans to approve a credit facility of more than 700 million euros aimed for small- and medium-sized enterprises in the transport, education and energy sectors.
**** Non-EU citizens who invest more than 300,000 euros in real estate in Greece will be given five-year visas for the country, while businessmen who invest more than 100,000 euros for business in Greece can secure 10-year residency permits for their executives to enable them to work in the country, according to a draft law to be unveiled by the Development and Competitiveness ministry in the coming days aimed at facilitating strategic investments in Greece.
Ministry sources told AMNA that the ‘easy visa’ will apply to non-EU citizens, and the members of their family, that acquire residences in Greece worth over 300,000 euros, and the purchase concerns a single owner.
The five-year visa will not count as time required for the acquisition of Greek citizenship and does not allow the holder to work in Greece, while it will have to be renewed every five years for the duration of the proprietorship of the property.
Market sources opine that the incentive will substantially help to rekindle the real estate market, particularly with Russian capital.
**** Bond holders on Friday gathered outside ruling New Democracy (ND) headquarters in Athens to protest their losses from the Greek bonds’ haircut (PSI).
A delegation of the protestors was received by the party’s general director Costas Tzimaras with whom they discussed for 45 minutes. The protestors have asked to meet with the party’s secretary Manolis Kefaloyannis.
However, a group of the protestors stormed the entry hall, causing minor damage to the offices, and threw eggs at photographs of ND’s former leaders which are on display on the walls of the entrance to the offices.