The Athens Stock Exchange reopened on Monday and unsurprisingly, some folks were selling.
Trading was suspended five weeks ago after PM Alexis Tsipras’ dramatic midnight referendum call precipitated capital controls and a lengthy bank “holiday.” Shares opened lower by nearly 23% and the country’s banks traded limit-down, which makes sense because they are, after all, largely insolvent. Here’s NY Times:
The Athens Stock Exchange plunged 22.8 percent when it reopened on Monday after a five-week shutdown imposed by Greek authorities as part of efforts to prevent a financial collapse.
Bank stocks, which are particularly vulnerable as Greek lenders are set for new recapitalization in the coming months, took a battering, falling by as much as 30 percent.
Although foreign investors face no restrictions in the Athens exchange, local traders can only use existing cash holdings to buy shares; they are prohibited from tapping local bank deposits to buy shares as the authorities seek to prevent capital flight.
Asked about the harrowing decline, European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva had no comment but did say that Brussels has “taken note” of the reopening. Amusingly, she also said the decision was made by “competent” Greek officials. A ban on short-selling was due to expire on Monday but will be extended, an unnamed official told Reuters.
Meanwhile, monthly PMI data from Markit confirmed that the Greek economy suffered an outright collapse in July. Last month marked the 11th consecutive month of contraction, but it was the depth of the downturn that was truly shocking as the index plummeted to 30.2 from 46.9 in June. It was the lowest print on record. New orders plunged to 17.9 from 43.2.
“July saw factory production in Greece contract sharply amid an unprecedented drop in new orders and difficulties in purchasing raw materials,” Markit said. Here’s more from the report:
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