Greek stocks fall sharply on banking sector meltdown

Athens (AFP) – Greek stocks tumbled on Monday to close nearly eight percent lower, with bank shares losing almost a quarter of their market value amid concerns over the future of government reforms.

The general index on the Athens stock exchange closed down 7.9 percent at 464.23 points — a 25-year-low — while banks suffered a 24.3-percent average drop.

Top companies such as the Public Power Corporation, the Piraeus Port Authority and prominent construction firms lost between four and and 12.5 percent.

The downturn came amid a general European stock market slump as investors cashed out of banking shares following recent poor earnings, with worries over China’s economy and falling oil prices also weighing on sentiment.

But in Greece investors had additional reasons to head for the exits, with the government seen to be facing an impossible choice between further austerity and social unrest.

The Athens stock exchange had already lost 9 percent of its value last week, with the banking index taking a beating with a drop of over 24 percent.

Full article: Greek stocks fall sharply on banking sector meltdown (Yahoo!)

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