Greek Equities Decline or Don’t Find Buyers Outside AthensRoxana Zega
Greek stocks trading outside of Athens are either falling or untouchable after this weekend’s drama.
American depositary receipts of National Bank of Greece SA tumbled 24 percent in New York. Coca-Cola HBC AG, which switched its primary listing to London from Athens two years ago, dropped 3.4 percent. Telecommunication company CDialogues Plc and shipping firm Goldenport Holdings Inc., also listed in in the U.K. capital, fell 2.4 percent and 1 percent, respectively.
Talks between Greece and its creditors broke down over the weekend with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s decision to hold a July 5 referendum, leading to the nation shutting down its banks and and stock exchange. With Greece in limbo, traders are waiting to see how it resolves.
“The default thinking is let’s not go there,” said Peter Dixon, an economist at Commerzbank AG. “The markets are on the mindset that anything directly associated with Greece is going to take a pounding. It would be speculative to want to buy something in the anticipation of a yes deal.”
Tsipras has asked Greek voters to decide whether to accept creditors’ demands to unlock bailout aid in a move that risks driving the country out of the currency union. Its current euro-area bailout expires on Tuesday, and the European Central Bank froze the level of emergency liquidity assistance to Greek lenders on Sunday.
A U.S.-listed exchange-traded fund tracking Greek stocks sank 19 percent, while an ETF following the shares in Europe was halted after falling more than 15 percent in Germany. Its Italian and French versions never opened. Hellenic Telecommunications Organization SA was also suspended in Germany.
MSCI Inc. said it’s watching Greek developments and may recategorize its index tracking the nation’s shares as a “standalone market,” like Zimbabwe and Jamaica. Those don’t meet minimum liquidity requirements, their markets are partially or fully closed to foreign investors, and stock lending or short selling are either not developed or prohibited, according to the index provider. In 2013, Greece became the first developed nation to be downgraded to emerging-market status by MSCI.
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