Greek stocks ended moderately higher at the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday, with the composite index rising 0.31 pct to end at 2,555.37 points. Turnover was a moderate 201.1 million euros of which 22.5 million euros were block trades.
Most sectors moved upwards, with the Health (2.97 pct), Industrial Products (1.36 pct) and Food/Beverage (1.27 pc) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Commerce (1.19 pct), Travel (0.39 pct) and Oil (0.33 pct) suffered losses.
The FTSE 20 index rose 0.30 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.95 pct up and the FTSE 80 index ended 0.51 pct higher. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 101 to 90 with another 65 issues unchanged.
Sector indices ended as follows:
Oil & Gas: -0.33%
Personal & Household: +0.69%
Raw Materials: +0.27%
Travel & Leisure: -0.39%
Food & Beverages: +1.27%
Financial Services: +0.20%
The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, OPAP, OTE and Bank of Piraeus.
Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:
Alpha Bank: 11.49
Public Power Corp (PPC): 15.03
HBC Coca Cola: 17.30
Hellenic Petroleum: 7.58
National Bank of Greece: 22.45
EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 9.45
Bank of Piraeus: 11.56
Greek bond market closing report
Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market soared to 3.002 billion euros on Friday, of which 1.776 billion euros were buy orders and the remaining 1.226 billion were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond (July 19, 2019) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 2.471 billion euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds was 116 basis points, with the Greek bond yielding 4.52 pct and the German Bund 3.36 pct.
In interbank markets, interest rates were largely unchanged. The 12-month Euribor rate was 1.25 pct, the six-month rate 1.03 pct, the three-month rate 0.76 pct and the one-month rate 0.45 pct.
Foreign Exchange rates
U.S. dollar 1.482
Pound sterling 0.907
Danish kroner 7.500
Swedish kroner 10.193
Japanese yen 135.24
Swiss franc 1.526
Norwegian kroner 8.710
Canadian dollar 1.587
Australian dollar 1.706
**** Greeceʼs composite turnover index in the industrial sector dropped by 27.8 pct in July, compared with the same month last year, the National Statistical Service said on Friday. The statistics agency attributed the sharp decline to a 34.8 pct fall in the mining turnover index and a 27.7 pct fall in the manufacturing turnover index.
The new orders index dropped 33.7 pct in July, after an increase of 11.0 pct recorded in July 2008.
**** Greece’s all-important tourism foreign exchange revenues fell 15.5 pct in the seven-month period from January to July 2009, compared with the corresponding period last year, the Bank of Greece announced on Friday.
The central bank, in its monthly report, said tourism revenues fell to 5.0 billion euros in the January-July period from 5.9 billion euros last year. The Bank of Greece, however, said the country’s current accounts deficit fell by 23 percent to 16.614 billion euros in the first seven months of 2009, reflecting mainly a large decline in the trade deficit.
On the other hand, the services’ and the current transfers’ surpluses shrank significantly, while the incomes’ deficit fell slightly. The country’s trade deficit fell by 8.539 billion euros in the January-July period, reflecting a 4.938 billion euros decline in the trade deficit of goods (excluding fuel and ships). Excluding fuel and ships, imports fell by 25.5 pct while exports fell by 17.0 pct.
The services’ surplus fell by 2.987 billion euros, reflecting lower net receipts from transport and travel services. The incomes’ deficit fell by 278 million euros reflecting lower payments on interest, dividends and profits, while the current transfers’ surplus fell by 886 million euros.
The capital transfers’ surplus shrank to 1.256 billion euros, from 2.585 billion euros last year, while the financial transactions’ balance showed a net inflow of 1.8 billion euros. Portfolio investments showed a net inflow of 23.7 billion euros.
**** Greek state lottery operator OPAP chairman and CEO Christos Hadjiemmanuil announced on Friday that he has rejected his appointment to the post of Alternate Executive Director of the Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in a letter of reply to Greece’s Capital Market Commission after his appointment “became immediately an object of acute political exploitation”.
Hadjiemmanuil was named to replace Miranda Xafa, who served on the IMF board as the representative for Greece, Italy and Portugal. Xafa also served as chief economic advisor to then New Democracy (ND) Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis in 1991-93.
Main opposition PASOK officer for economic affairs Louka Katseli had stated on Thursday that “on the eve of (the October 4 general) elections, the ND government has decided to go ahead with the replacement of Greece’s representative to the IMF, Ms. Miranda Xafa” with Hadjiemmanuil, adding that “this decision does is not binding on the next government”. Katseli also charged that “actions such as these simply indicate the panic of the outgoing government”.
**** The most remarkable expansionary cycle in recent shipping market history ended in the second half of 2008, when the more severe phase of the international financial crisis hit the world economy hard, driving dry bulk freight rates down 93 per cent from their historical high reached in June 2008, and 76 per cent below their 10 year average, the National Bank of Greece said in its monthly bulletin Thursday.
Nevertheless, the upturn in demand for commodities from China in the first half of 2009, and successful short-term supply management practices by shipowners, triggered a strong rebound in dry market freight rates in second quarter of 2009, (up by 360 per cent in late-August despite the significant correction during the July-August period).
The NBG analysis suggests that the current level of freight rates is not sustainable unless large adjustments take place on the supply side, in the form of cancellations of high outstanding ship orders, as well as increased scrapping.
Specifically, despite NBG Researchʼs estimated pick-up in demand for dry bulk shipping by 6.3 per cent y-o-y during 2010-2011, and an estimated level of cancellations equal to 100 million dwt during 2009-2011, combined with scrapping amounting to 70 million dwt (out of a total bulker fleer size of 418 million dwt), the BDI level is projected to fall below 2000 in 2010 before rising to 2750 in 2011, approaching its 10-year average of 2870 – a respectable outcome in view of the size of the initial disequilibrium.
With Greek shipowners expected to participate proportionately in the supply adjustment, total revenue from the shipping sector in the Greek economy is not projected to recover until 2011, implying that the Greek merchandise shipping sector will exert a net drag on Greek GDP growth of about 0.4 of a percentage point in both 2009 and 2010, and will have a positive contribution of 0.3 of a percentage point in 2011.
**** Foreign direct investments in Greece totaled 5.09 billion US dollars in 2008, up 165 percent compared with the previous year, UNCTAD said in its World Investment Report 2009.
The report, presented in Athens, said Greece ranked 49th, among 206 countries, in 2008, sharply improving its position from 73rd in 2007, while the United States, France, China, Britain and Russia were top in the world table.