Greece prepares to reopen Athens stock market

ATHENS, Greece – The Athens stock exchange, which has been closed for nearly a month due to Greece's debt crisis, is expected to reopen in a few days after receiving approval from the European Central Bank, a stock market source told Agence France-Presse "The ECB gave its green light to reopen the stock market in Greece, (and) we are waiting for a ministerial decision which will specify the conditions of the reopening," the source said Tuesday, July 28.

A spokesman for the Greek finance ministry said that a decision would be published later Tuesday but did not indicate when the Athens stock exchange would resume trading.

The stock market in the Greek capital closed on Friday June 26, a few hours before Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced a referendum on the bailout conditions demanded by Greece's international creditors.

Greeks rushed to their banks' cash machines over that weekend prompting the government to impose capital controls from Monday June 29, followed by the closing of the banks and the stock exchange.

The aim was to protect the banking sector which has seen huge withdrawals over the past six months by people nervous about Greece's economic and financial future.

The banks reopened after three weeks on July 20, but withdrawals and money transfers abroad remain under tight controls. Greeks can only withdraw up to 420 euros ($464) a week.

For businesses the capital controls were slightly eased last week but economic activity especially imports continues to encounter numerous obstacles. –