Ferry Accident Blamed For Minoan's Plummeting Stock Price

Wednesday, September 27, 2000
Shares of ferry operator Minoan Lines fell around 11 percent in late session trade on the Athens stock exchange on Wednesday, near the bourse's 12 percent limit down, after one of its ferries sank late on Tuesday, killing 48 passengers.

Traded volume was 979,939 shares. The shares were trading at 2,995 drachmas ($7.78), up slightly from its day low of 2,935 drachmas, representing a fall of more than 11 percent.

But brokers said the share price loss was likely to be temporary.

"Today's drop in the stock price is logical after such an incident. The slide may continue tomorrow but in the medium term things will change," said an analyst.

At least 59 people died when the ferry Express Samina of Minoan Flying Dolphins, a 31.6 percent subsidiary of Minoan Lines, sunk off the Aegean holiday island of Paros after striking a rocky islet.

"The incident will hurt the company's image but insurance will cover damages," the analyst continued.

"It is a good stock. Bargain hunters are expected to step in and buy the share," said another analyst.

Another analyst offered that the plunge in Minoan's stock is likely to be short-lived but legal matters concerning the issue may affect the company.

"Like other companies in its sector, Minoan Lines has been hit hard by rising fuel prices but up till now its fundamentals are good," he said. "The extent of the damages may grow when findings on the legal investigation are released."

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