A sell-off in bank shares pushed the Athens Stock Exchange to its lowest levels since June 3, 1993, on Tuesday, amid a very negative climate prevailing in other international markets. Worries over developments in the Greek debt crisis, such as leaving open the possibility for a revision of a Greek bond swap programme, combined with a decision to postpone a Eurogroup meeting scheduled for Oct. 13, thus delaying the release of a sixth tranche of a bailout loan to Greece, dampened sentiment on the market.

    The composite index plunged 6.28 pct to end at 730.33 points, with turnover remaining a low 60.345 million euros.

    The Big Cap index ended 7.61 pct down, the Mid Cap index fell 5.76 pct and the Small Cap index ended 5.52 pct lower.

    Folli Follie was the only blue chip stock not to suffer losses (ending unchanged), while Piraeus Bank (18.18 pct), Hellenic Postbank (15.28 pct), National Bank (14.12 pct), OPAP (12.74 pct), Mytilineos (11.29 pct), Alpha Bank (9.84 pct) and Eurobank (9.41 pct) ended lower.

    All sectors moved down, with Health (13.77 pct), Travel (12.34 pct) and Banks (10.77 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 121 to 18 with another 32 issues unchanged.

    Medicon (9.80 pct), FHL Mermeren (9.69 pct) and Maillis (9.09 pct) were top gainers, while Hatzioannou (20 pct), Elinoil (19.85 pct) and Haidemenos (19.74 pct) ended lower.