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Unprecedented collapse of the markets in the last 14 years

12 July 2011 / 23:07:40  GRReporter
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Unprecedented collapse since February 1997 shook the Athens Stock Exchange, reports Naftemporiki. The index dropped in the beginning of the week and today at noon reached 1184 bp, while losses amounted to 2.58% before 12 o’clock at noon. The transactions traded during this time amounted to about 20 million euro. Some analysts noted in a sad irony that if this government had spent as much strength and energy for privatization and structural reorganization as it spent on lobbying in foreign aid now the stock exchange would flourish, and the rumours of default would be fading. However, none of this is happening.

The drop in the interest rate on 26-week government bonds, which was 4.96% in the middle of June and decreased to 4.9% a month later this year, was accounted as a good sign. The Ministry of Finance gained around 1.63 billion euro from the auction, but the participation of foreign investors was significantly lower - only 22% of the total participants. For comparison, the auction of six-month government bonds involved 37% foreign investors a month ago.

The coverage is 2.88% and the non-competitive bids accepted amounted to 375 million euro. The auction was held by primary market dealers and the closing date for the transaction is Friday, July 15, 2011. Under the rules for the activity of primary dealers, non-competitive bids could reach 30% of the amount of the auction and should be submitted by 12 o’clock at noon on July 14.

While the government is struggling to hold Greece on the foreign market in a symbolic way by issuing six-month bills at a relatively high interest rate, it became clear that the hole in the budget for the first half amounts to 4.5 billion euro. The government has collected 3.2 billion euro less than the planned in the Memorandum to June this year and the budget spending is 1.27 billion euro more than expected. As for the discrepancies between planned and implemented, the Ministry argues that the gaps will be filled in the second half of the year by the measures set out in the austerity program. In addition, the deadline for submitting self-employed and traders’ electronic tax returns is July 14, this year and the revenues are expected to rise.

The suffering of the real economy also continues as the crisis affects the small traders most severely.  According to the study of the Trade Association of Tripoli, cited by Zougla, half of the shops in the city closed due to inability to withstand the financial pressure, but also because of the lack of liquidity in the banking and consumer sectors. The analysis of the local market shows that about 20% of the shops on the central shopping streets went bankrupt while in the suburbs this rate exceeds 40%. According to the city authorities, if the trend worsens the local economy will be brought to a deadlock, and unemployment would cause people of working age to seek their fortune either in larger cities such as Athens and Thessaloniki, or abroad.

Tags: EconomyMarketsMarketsCollapseAthensGovernment bondsInterest rateCrisis
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