Shares skid again with banks worst hit

By Hamza Hendawi

SHARE prices yesterday slipped for the second consecutive day, not a totally negative development when you consider that many wanted the market to cool off, shed a few pennies and build higher resistance levels.

The alternative, they argue, would be the doom-and-gloom scenario in which share prices collapse, wiping out hundreds of million of pounds from investors’ portfolios over one or two sessions and killing off the Cyprus Stock Exchange as a reliable venue of investment.

In yesterday’s trade, the all-share index finished the day at 260.02, 4.33 per cent down on Thursday, when it skidded by 7.65 per cent to snap one of the strongest rallies ever seen in the market.

Only two of the market’s seven sub-indices finished in positive territory yesterday. Insurance and ‘other’ companies were up by 5.07 per cent and 9.82 per cent respectively on a combined volume of about £3 million.

Banks were again the worst hit, their sub-index shedding 6.29 per cent to close at 346.56. The Athens-bound Bank of Cyprus was down 52 cents to close at £11.27 and the Popular Bank ended at £6.35, down by 26 cents.

Hellenic Bank, which on Thursday announced its second takeover of an insurance company in as many weeks, was down 53 cents. It closed at £7.70.

The sector attracted an impressive £22.96 million in trade, nearly half the bourse’s entire volume of £41.18 million.