Greek Stocks Sink on Concern Country Will Leave the Euro

Greek stocks declined to their lowest level in two decades after the Mediterranean nation’s political leaders failed to form a national-unity government.

Gambling company Opap SA plunged to a 10-year low. Public Power Corp. SA dropped 7.9 percent.

The ASE Index dropped 4.6 percent to 584.04 at the close of trading in Athens, its lowest level since November 1992. The benchmark measure plummeted 11 percent last week as the leaders of the three political parties with the most seats in parliament following the May 6 election took turns to try to form a coalition government.

“It’s not only a matter of whether you’ll have a stable government or not, but it’s also what the future of this country will be,” said Panagiotis Kladis, an analyst at National Securities SA in Athens. “That creates a lot of uncertainty in the market for all stocks.”

Syriza, the coalition of left-wing parties opposed to spending cuts, yesterday defied overtures to join a government that will include the New Democracy and Pasok parties.

Greece’s President, Karolos Papoulias, will resume his attempt to oversee the formation of a unity government today, an official at the president’s office said.

A meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Athens, the official, who declined to be named, said in a telephone interview. The leaders of New Democracy, Pasok and the Democratic Left are expected to attend the talks.

Bailout Talks

Euro-area finance ministers meet today and may discuss the international bailout for Greece, as well as the situation in Spain, where the government last week began a fourth attempt to clean up the country’s banks. The ministers convene at 5 p.m. in Brussels.

Opap, Europe’s largest-listed gambling company, plunged 12 percent to 5.15 euros, its lowest price since September 2001.

Public Power Corp., Greece’s largest electricity producer, which is 51 percent owned by the government, plummeted 7.9 percent to 1.74 euros.

National Bank of Greece SA, the country’s largest lender, lost 1.4 percent to 1.46 euros. Piraeus Bank SA, Greece’s fourth largest bank lost 2.2 percent to 22.2 euro cents.

Cyprus Popular Bank Plc tumbled 3.9 percent to 14.8 euro cents. The island’s second-largest lender said it has held discussions with the country’s finance ministry and central bank on its capital-strengthening plans. Bank of Cyprus, the largest bank on the island, dropped 1.7 percent to 35.5 euro cents.

Utilities Decline

Hellenic Telecommunications Organization SA, 40 percent owned by Deutsche Telekom AG, retreated 4.5 percent to 1.93 euros, its lowest price since it listed in shares in 1996.

Piraeus Port Authority SA fell 9.9 percent to 9 euros.

State-run water utilities Athens Water Supply & Sewage Co. SA and Thessaloniki Water Supply & Sewage Co. tumbled 5.3 percent to 3.20 euros and 5.6 percent to 3.22 euros, respectively.

Greek construction company Ellaktor SA lost 6.1 percent to 89.2 euro cents. Titan Cement SA dropped 3.3 percent to 14.70 euros.

Fourlis Holdings SA, the Ikea franchise-holder for Greece, dropped 4.6 percent to 1.05 euros. Jumbo SA, Greece’s largest toy and baby products retailer, fell 6 percent to 3.29 euros.

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co., the world’s second-largest bottler of Coke drinks, dropped 4.1 percent to 12.49 euros.