The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) slumped to a 26-month low on Tuesday, August 28, as the market reacted negatively to the disappointing half-yearly results announced by Laiki Bank, analysts said.
A confidence-battered all-share index dropped 1.9 percent, on a 6.6 million pound ($10.3 million) turnover, to settle on 150.89 points, the lowest level since June 9, 1999. The CSE's record high stands at 849.3 points, reached in November 1999 following a huge demand for stocks, before taking its dive.
The slide has continued ever since despite a robust economy boosted by record tourism receipts expected to surpass 1.4 billion pounds ($2.1 billion) in 2001. Laiki's share fell 2.48 percent Tuesday to reach a year-low price of 1.57 pounds ($2.40) after the island's second largest bank posted reduced operating profits of 14.3 million pounds ($22.4 million).
For the same period last year, Laiki's operating profits reached 62.9 million pounds ($98.7 million). HSBC has a 20 percent stake in the Cypriot bank, which has branches in Greece and Britain.
Reflecting declining bank stock, the FTSE/CSE 20 retreated 2.20 percent to close on 569.19. The blue chip index has lost nearly half its value since its launch last December. There could be more turbulence for the CSE when the market's biggest listed company Bank of Cyprus announces its interim results on Thursday. During Tuesday's session, 121 stocks sunk in value and 41 climbed. ― (AFP, Nicosia)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )