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SOFIA (Bulgaria), October 16 (SeeNews) - The Bulgarian Stock Exchange blue-chip SOFIX index closed a third consecutive trading session lower, losing 0.25% to 560.07 points on Wednesday.
The SOFIX was dragged down by two of its heavyweights - diversified group Chimimport [BUL:6C4] and drug maker Sopharma [BUL:3JR], which erased 1.21% and 1.19%, respectively.
The wider BGBX40 index, which tracks the 40 most traded shares on the Sofia bourse, dropped 0.45% to 110.50 points, hit by a 28.92% slump in the share price of fertilisers maker Neochim [BUL:3NB]. Neochim shares closed at their lowest value since 2004.
Last week, Bulgaria's deputy energy minister Zhecho Stankov made a visit to Neochim's production plant. The visit was prompted by the planned lay-offs, which are necessary due to the company's "tough financial state," the energy ministry said in a statement on Friday.
In the first half of 2019, Neochim booked a consolidated net profit of 1.1 million levs as it boosted its revenue to 173.8 million levs from 122.1 million levs the year before, according to its annual financial statement.
Last month, the company said that it is resuming nitrogen fertilisers production after a planned annual maintenance of its facilities. However, the company once again stressed that it is operating in very difficult market conditions as natural gas prices in the country are among the highest in the EU.
The BGTR30 index, in which companies with a free float of at least 10% have equal weight, decreased 0.11% to 500.18 points.
The BGREIT index, which tracks the performance of real estate investment trusts, fell 0.25% to 127.65 points.
Total regulated market trading turnover soared to 1.95 million levs ($1.1 million/1.0 million euro) on Wednesday from 239,000 levs on Tuesday.
Turnover on Wednesday was boosted by trade in local diversified groups Rodna Zemya Holding [BUL:6R2] and Holding Varna [BUL:5V2], which generated turnover of 932,400 levs and 880,760 levs, respectively.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)