Foreign investors keep upper hand at bourse

Foreign investors accounted for more than half of total trading activity on Greece's stock market last year, executives at stock and futures operator Hellenic Exchanges said on Wednesday.

Greek equities fell 23.6 percent in 2018, a tough year in which banks took a beating. But mid-cap shares bucked the downtrend for a second straight year.

"It was the year of mid-caps," Socrates Lazaridis, CEO at Hellenic Exchanges, told reporters. "But for the first time, the market capitalization of banks fell below 10 percent of the stock market's total capitalization."

Greece's five listed commercial banks have struggled to shrink their mountains of bad loans and return to sustained profitability.

Foreign investors held 22.3 billion euros of Greek stocks or 63.3 percent of total market capitalization, which fell to 45 billion euros at the end of 2018 from 54...

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