ECONOMY

Lackluster blue chips

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index ended at 1,830.54 points on Friday, down 5.78 points, or 0.31 percent, from the previous week’s close, as index heavyweights on the whole failed to attract strong interest from investors. The total volume of shares traded during the five sessions of the week reached 389.09 million euros (an average daily volume of 77.82 euros), against 477.08 million the week before. The strongest buying interest was for small-capitalization stocks, which led the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 index 4.65 percent higher. The middle-capitalization index (FTSE/ASE Mid-40) rose 1.51 percent, while the FTSE/ASE index of blue chips ended 1.96 percent lower. Most sectoral indices recorded gains. Insurance companies were the biggest winners for a second consecutive week, their index rising 9.2 percent, while wholesale commerce and construction advanced 5.92 and 3.6 percent respectively. On the other hand, banks fell 3.91 percent and investment funds lost 3.18 percent. Of the 369 stocks traded last week, 276 gained, 19 remained unchanged and 74 dropped in value. Ermis outperformed the gainers with 46.05 percent, followed closely by GEK with 43.55 percent. Retailing firm Vardas, the previous week’s biggest gainer, last week led the losers by falling 17.15 percent, followed by ANEK Lines’ PR, 90 stock, which shed 10.95 percent. The most heavily traded stock by far was again OTE Telecom, with an average value of 10.58 million euros per session, followed by National Bank with 4.24 million and Vodafone-Panafon with 2.95 million.