Stocks on the Athens bourse continued their downward slide on Friday, with the Athens Stock Exchange composite index shedding another 0.74 pct during a second consecutive day of losses, to end at 1,232.60 points. Turnover was a low 59.059 million euro.Though an EU deal for a second bailout package for Greece was met positively at first, with stocks rising rapidly and regaining ground lost the previous day, enthusiasm flagged later in the session due to concerns about whether the Medium Term Fiscal Strategy will clear the hurdle of the Greek Parliament and on rumours that the Italian banking sector is troubled.
The Big Cap index for blue-chip and heavily-traded stock fell 0.87 percent, the Mid Cap index closed 1.16 percent lower and the Small Cap index posted marginal gains of 0.23 percent.
Top gainers among blue-chip stocks were Atebank (2.54 pct), Hellenic Petroleum (1.43 pct) and Alpha Bank (1.26 pct). Top losers were OPAP (-4.08 pct), Mytilineos (-3.72 pct), Marfin Popular Bank (-1.64 pct), TT Hellenic Postbank (-1.49 pct) and OTE (-1.48 pct).
Individual sector indices were mostly moving downward, with the biggest gains for Technology (1.79 pct) and Oil (0.62 pct). The biggest losses were in Travel (-3.94 pct), Raw Materials (-2.47 pct) and Chemicals (-2.24 pct).
Of the stocks moved, advancers led decliners by 72 to 67, with 32 issues unchanged.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: +0.62%
Personal & Household: -0.23%
Raw Materials: -2.47%
Travel & Leisure: -3.94%
Food & Beverages: -0.49%
Financial Services: -1.38%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, OPAP, Eurobank and Alpha Bank.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 3.21
Public Power Corp (PPC): 9.37
HBC Coca Cola: 18.50
Hellenic Petroleum: 6.38
National Bank of Greece: 4.57
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 3.04
Bank of Piraeus: 1.03
ADEX closing report
The September contract on the FTSE 20 index was trading at its nominal price in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Friday, with turnover rising to 41.755 million euros. Volume on the Big Cap index totaled 12,072 contracts, worth 33.746 million euros, with 27,692 open positions in the market. Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 23,197 contracts worth 8.009 million euros, with investment interest focusing on National Bank’s contracts (9,747), followed by Piraeus Bank (4,540), Eurobank (2,819), Alpha Bank (2,100), ATEbank (946), Bank of Cyprus (527 and Hellenic Postbank (444).
Greek bond market closing report
The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds eased to 13.80 pct on Friday, from 13.94 pct on Thursday, in the domestic electronic secondary bond market. The Greek bond yielded 16.63 pct and the German Bund 2.83 pct. Turnover in the market was 9.0 million euros, all of which were sell orders. The five-year (20/08/12) benchmark bond was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 3.0 million euros and the ten-year (19/06/20) benchmark bond with a turnover of 4.0 million euros.
In interbank markets, interest rates remained mostly unchanged. The 12-month rate was 2.14 pct, the six-month rate 1.77 pct, the three-month rate was 1.52 pct and the one-month rate 1.31 pct.
Foreign Exchange rates
U.S. dollar 1.443
Pound sterling 0.901
Danish kroner 7.570
Swedish kroner 9.317
Japanese yen 115.77
Swiss franc 1.208
Norwegian kroner 7.899
Canadian dollar 1.417
Australian dollar 1.367
**** Greece’s trade balance deficit, excluding oil products, dropped a further 31.1 percent in April this year, resulting in a 32.9 percent decline in the first four months of the year, according to provisional figures released on Friday by the independent Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).
ELSTAT, in a report, said that the deficit of the Trade Balance, excluding oil products, for the 4-month period from January to April 2011 amounted to 5.828,3 million euros (8,005.0 million dollars) in comparison with 8,688.2 million euros (11,863.3 million dollars) for the corresponding period of the year 2010, recording a drop of 32.9%.
The total value of imports-arrivals, excluding oil products, in April 2011 amounted to 2,488.4 million euros (3,583.0 million dollars) in comparison with 2,950.8 million euros (3,944.4 million dollars) in April 2010, recording a drop of 15.7%.
The total value of exports-dispatches, excluding oil products, in April 2011 amounted to 1,267.8 million euros (1,836.2 million dollars) in comparison with 1,180.2 million euros (1,586.8 million dollars) in April 2010, recording an increase of 7.4%.
The deficit of the trade balance, excluding oil products, in April 2011 amounted to 1,220.6 million euros (1,746.8 million dollars) in comparison with 1,770.6 million euros (2,357.6 million dollars) in April 2010, recording a drop of 31.1%.
The total value of imports-arrivals, excluding oil products, for the 4-month period from January to April 2011 amounted to 10,762.3 million euros (14,873.0 million dollars) in comparison with 13,112.9 million euros (17,942.2 million dollars) for the corresponding period of recording a drop of 17.9%.
The total value of exports-dispatches, excluding oil products, for the 4-month period from January to April 2011 amounted to 4,934.0 million euros (6,868.0 million dollars) in comparison with 4.424,7 million euros (6,078.9 million dollars) for the corresponding period of 2010, recording an increase of 11.5%.
**** Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) president Constantine Michalos warned on Friday that “the tsunami of new taxes being brought by the Medium-Term fiscal programme will drown Greece”.
Commenting on the finalised measures of the Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy Framework unveiled on Thursday by new finance minister Evangelos Venizelos, the EBEA chief said that “verbosity cannot provide solutions to the burning problems of the Greek economy”, adding that the fears have been confirmed that the new government is simply a revamping of the previous government “and in no instance, as it turned out, plans to alter the explosive policy mix it has been applying for the past 20 months”.
“The new finance minister, with his rhetorical ability, attempted yesterday to create a magical picture of the unbearable measures he imposed which, with mathematical precision, will plunge the market into deeper recession and society into absolute poverty. But the problems are not solved with verbosity and big words,” Michalos said.
EBEA believes that the new finance minister has arrived “with even more hostile intentions for the small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) than his predecessor (George Papaconstantinou), imposing on the teetering SMEs a poll tax of 300 euros annually in addition to the heavy taxes they are already paying, while at the same time vertically burdening their operational costs with an increase in the special consumption taxes on fuels, Michalos continued.
Unfortunately for Greece, the government does not realise that without growth the debt will continue to increase and the country will be further isolated from the international economic status quo into which it must gradually be incorporated, the EBEA chief charged, warning that austerity and excessive taxation are bad recipes for exiting the crisis, “something that everyone now concedes”.
He warned that the Medium-Term programmes target of fiscal consolidation will in no instance be achieved since “the only result that the tsunami of new tax burdens will bring, in this period of perpetuating and acute recession, is closures of businesses and a dramatic increase in loss of tax revenues and, of course, an explosion in unemployment”.
EBEA, he added, appeals to the government and to the political forces of the country in general to avert the disaster, even at this last moment, otherwise, it proposes a new beginning and recourse to elections as the only option.
**** Development, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Mihalis Chryssohoidis, speaking at the Emporiki Bank’s “This is Greece” event, said there is a lack of investing boldness in the country and termed this trend “justified” since, as he said, “on a daily basis a big question looms over the country on whether we shall succeed or not.”
“We need less loans and more investments. We achieved this in our negotiations with the troika. This is and must be our basic political and strategic option in our negotiations with our partners in Europe as well,” the minister said.
Referring to existing problems, the minister reiterated the ascertainment that there is a big fluidity deficit in the market with thousands of businesses being unable to cope with daily needs.
The minister mentioned that the institutional framework on the total lifting of bureaucratic obstacles in business will be ready in September, that the bill on shipping investments is being prepared, other big investments are being released quickly and the attraction of strategic investors is being intensified.