LONDON Technology company Apple is now worth as much as the 32 biggest euro zone banks.
That's the stark result from a steep fall in the share price of banks including Spain's Santander, France's BNP Paribas, Germany's Deutsche Bank and Italy's Unicredit, compared to a steady rise in Apple's valuation, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Earlier on Friday the DJ STOXX euro zone banks index fell 4 percent, valuing its 32 members at $340 billion. That's based on the market capitalization of their free-float shares, which for some French banks in particular is less than 100 percent.
The index has crashed by a third since the start of July, hammered by fears banks will lose billions from their holdings of euro zone government bonds and a failure of policymakers to stop a euro zone debt crisis from spreading.
The euro zone banks have lost three-quarters of their value since peaking in May 2007.
In contrast, Apple's market capitalization has soared to $340 billion on the back of the success of innovative technology products like iPods, iPhones and iPads.
(Reporting by Steve Slater; Data analysis by Scott Barber; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)