March 8 (Bloomberg) -- Greece’s benchmark ASE Index fell 60.35, or 3.8 percent, to 1,525.50 at the 5:20 p.m. close in Athens, its biggest drop in nine months.
The FTSE/ASE 20 Index of the country’s biggest companies lost 4.5 percent to 699.62. The Cyprus General Market Index declined 6.1 percent to 981.08.
The following shares were the most active in Athens trading today. Symbols are in parentheses.
Bank of Cyprus Pcl (BOC GA) fell 5.8 percent to 2.58 euros, its biggest drop in a week. A downgrade of Cyprus’s government bond ratings by Fitch Ratings is “unavoidable” after recent cuts by Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis told reporters today. Marfin Popular Bank Pcl (MARFB GA) plunged 6.6 percent to 85 cents.
National Bank of Greece SA (ETE GA) dropped 6.8 percent to 6.15 euros, falling the most since Sept. 7. Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Greece’s government bond ratings by three steps, to B1 from Ba1 yesterday. Moody’s also assigned a negative outlook to the debt. The Greek stock market was closed yesterday for a national holiday. Shares in EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA (EUROB GA), the country’s second-largest bank, slumped 6.1 percent to 4.30 euros. Alpha Bank SA (ALPHA GA) shares lost 4.3 percent to 4.69 euros. Agricultural Bank of Greece SA (ATE GA), a state-controlled lender, sank 7.6 percent to 73 euro cents.
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