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Sofia bourse benchmark index takes hit amid global market sell-off

Sofia bourse benchmark index takes hit amid global market sell-off hxdbzxy/Shutterstock.com

SOFIA (Bulgaria), October 11 (SeeNews) - The blue-chip SOFIX index of the Bulgarian Stock Exchange declined 1.35% to 609.09 points on Thursday, hitting a 20-month low, as global equities tumbled.

Wednesday's Wall Street rout set the tone for European and Asian stocks on Thursday.

Rapidly climbing bond yields of U.S. 10- and 30-year treasury notes prompted a sell-off on Wednesday, which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 indices post their worst one-day decline since February. The DOW lost 3.2% on Wednesday, while the S&P 500 dropped 3.3%.

The Sofia bourse's SOFIX index lost 8.33 points during Thursday's trading session, as 14 out of its 15 constituents ended in red.

Construction company Trace Group Hold [BUL:T57] took the toughest blow, losing 7.47% to 3.22 levs - its lowest closing price since July 2013. Earlier this week, Trace Group Hold announced that it has appointed Boyan Delchev as its new CEO, replacing Miroslav Manolov, without giving reasons for its decision.

Battery maker Monbat [BUL:5MB] posted the second sharpest decline, of 5.19%, as earlier its week it cut its financial projections until 2022, after its deal to acquire Tunisian peer L'Accumulateur Tunisien Assad fell through.

The banking sector continued its decline, as First Investment Bank (Fibank) [BUL:5F4] lost 3.27% to 3.55 levs, while Central Cooperative Bank (CCB) fell 0.29% to 1.7 levs.

Fibank has erased 7.55% of its share price thus far this week, while CCB shares have lost 3.41%, after posting three back-to-back losing sessions.

On Wednesday, local media outlet Mediapool reported that the European Central Bank will check six Bulgarian lenders as part of its cooperation with the country under the Single Supervisory Mechanism. The ECB will check Bulgaria's four largest lenders by assets - UniCredit Bulbank, DSK Bank, United Bulgarian Bank and First Investment Bank, as well as two other unnamed lenders, Mediapool reported, citing its own sources.

Industrial conglomerate Chimimport [BUL:6C4] was the only gainer among blue chips on Thursday, adding 0.50% to a closing price of 2.03 levs per share.

The wider BGBX40 index, which tracks the 40 most traded shares on the Sofia bourse, dropped 1.25% to 119.27 points, undercut by a 8.47% decline in the share price of car battery manufacturer Elhim Iskra [BUL:52E].

The BGREIT index, which tracks the performance of real estate investment trusts (REITs), lost 0.49% to 117.30 points, hit by a 1.48% decrease in shares of the biggest REIT on the bourse - Advance Terrafund REIT [BUL:6A6].

Bulgarian Real Estate Fund REIT [BUL:5BU] was the other major contributor to the BGREIT's decline, as its shares lost 1.04% to 1.91 levs.

The BGTR30 index, in which companies with a free float of at least 10% have equal weight, fell 1.46% to 507.92 points.

Total regulated market turnover surged to 2.1 million levs ($1.2 million/1.1 million euro) on Thursday from 357,000 levs on Wednesday.

(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)

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