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Stocks in Athens on Monday tumbled by 7.10 percent, with banks hit the hardest, ahead of a crucial EU-IMF audit and mounting fears that Spain was heading for a eurozone bailout.

The bank index fell by 9.82 percent with top lenders taking heavy losses.

National Bank shed 11.29 percent, Alpha Bank lost 9.17 percent, Eurobank dived by 10.91 percent and Piraeus Bank dropped 9.59


Eurobank had earlier announced that its parent EFG Group, based in Zurich, was to transfer 44 percent of its 45-percent stake in the Greek lender to members of the Latsis family, the founders of the group.

Auditors from the EU, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank - the so-called troika of Greek creditors - return to Athens on Tuesday seeking answers from the government on how to bring troubled structural reforms on track.

At stake are 11.5 billion euros in spending cuts in 2013-2014 which Greece was originally supposed to identify in June under agreements signed earlier this year, and a privatisation drive that is months behind schedule.

The troika's report will determine whether Greece will receive fresh loans of 31.5 billion euros ($38 billion) by September under its debt rescue programme. - Sapa-AFP