Greece reopens its stock market in a bid to exit crisis mode, but a hoped-for return to normality is marked down by investors with an an immediate 20% sell-off. Joel Flynn reports.
A river of red on the boards of Athens' bourse. This was the plunge analysts had expected. The first time trades on the Greek stock market could be made in five weeks saw falls of nearly 23 percent at the open. Banking shares in particular hit hard. IG's Alastair McCaig. SOUNDBITE: IG Market Analyst, Alistair McCaig, saying (English): "To a certain extent we've got the most stability as far as the political outlook is concerned that we've had for arguably a number of months and I guess the sooner that the equity market was allowed to start getting up and running again the better." Capital controls had closed the bourse in June to stop a flight of euros out of the country. Since then its renegotiated a bailout to keep its coffers flowing. Reports on Sunday said Greece's government want 24 billion euros in the first tranche of that aid. Its economy remains in tatters though. Factory output collapsing in July, as orders plummeted following last month's bank closures. Economic sentiment at its lowest level in three years. Panmure Gordon's David Buik still not confident the bailout will make things any better. SOUNDBITE: Panmure Gordon Market Strategist, David Buik, saying (English): "They have no business and industry and commerce to speak of, that could possibly service that debt even though they might start to pay tax in some way." It wasn't all bad news for equities in Athens though. Stocks including Aegean Airlines, OTE Telecom and refiner Motor Oil all outperformed the benchmark index. Those perhaps the only rays of light making it into the market on an otherwise dark day.