OTE, banks drive stocks close to 1,700

Solid gains in OTE Telecom led equities higher yesterday as the Athens bourse added nearly 1 percent, cheered by rebounding European peers. OTE rose 1.57 percent to 11.64 euros bringing its gains for the year to almost 10 percent. Telecoms advanced 1.11 percent while European telecoms were up 2.46 percent late yesterday. «We followed foreign markets. There has been interest in OTE for some time now. It looks to be flow-driven with buying coming from foreign investors,» said Costas Theodoropoulos, fund manager at Allianz. The benchmark general index rose 0.97 percent to 1,688.76 points. Blue chips rose 1.04 percent to 838.70 points. Mid-caps added 0.74 percent and small-caps rose 1.70 percent. Turnover, which slumped to a 52-week low on Monday, was 46.52 million euros, with 16.6 million shares changing hands. Winners beat losers 245 to 62 with 48 shares unchanged on 355 traded. (Reuters)