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Greek Bourse to Change FTSE Indexes to Spur Trade, Liquidity

Hellenic Exchanges Holdings SA, the operator of Greek financial markets, said it plans to revise bourse indexes as of Dec. 3 to boost trading.

The changes will include increasing the number of companies in the FTSE/ASE 20 index of large companies to 25 from 20 and changing the index’s name to FTSE/ATHEX Large Cap to improve liquidity, the market operator said today in an e-mailed statement.

Fears that Greece would leave the euro area have dissuaded investors from adding to their holdings of Greek companies, while the biggest sovereign-debt write off in history earlier this year hurt banks listed on the exchange, including National Bank of Greece SA, the country’s largest lender.

Turnover on the Athens exchange fell to 1.04 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in June, the bourse said yesterday, down 43 percent from a year earlier. The value of all stocks on the exchange now is 24.5 billion euros, half the 49 billion euros at the end of June last year.

The FTSE/ASE index of mid-cap companies will be cut to 20 from 40 to increase the tradability of the index, according to the statement. A new index for small companies, based on factors including fundamentals, will replace the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap Index that is based only on market capitalization, Hellenic Exchanges said.

The market operator also plans to ease free-float rules so that companies whose free float falls below the minimum requirement of 15 percent following a restructuring, such as receiving a capital injection by way of an equity issue from the government, will be accepted into indexes with its actual free float.

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