Greek Bank Stocks Extend Slide After Tsipras Steps Down

Athens Stock Exchange CEO Socrates Lazaridis Interview
A Greek national flag flies outside the Athens Stock Exchange following its reopening after a five week suspension in Athens, Greece, on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015. Current restrictions on trading in Greek financial markets for local investors are likely to remain in place for Lazaridis said. Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

Greek bank stocks tumbled for a second day after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he was stepping down to seek a new mandate in elections.

The four biggest lenders -- National Bank of Greece SA, Piraeus Bank SA, Eurobank Ergasias SA and Alpha Bank AE -- all opened lower in Athens trading, extending Thursday’s losses.

National Bank of Greece, the country’s largest lender, fell 7.4 percent and was down 1.6 percent at 10:39 a.m. in Athens. The Stoxx Europe 600 Banks Index was trading 0.9 percent lower.

Tsipras said late Thursday that he would step down after eight months in power amid division in his anti-austerity party over the terms of the country’s new bailout. His resignation paves the way for early elections.

Tsipras’s battle with creditors brought the economy to the brink of ruin and forced banks to shut down for weeks. The European Central Bank has propped up Greek lenders with emergency liquidity, even as withdrawal limits and capital controls have left many ordinary citizens with only limited access to basic bank services.

Greek bank stocks have declined this year, with Piraeus Bank losing about 90 percent of its value since the start of 2014.

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