ECONOMY

Bargain hunting helps lift market by 2.07 percent

A rebound on major European stock markets inspired bargain hunting on the Athens bourse yesterday, pulling the market more than 2 percent higher after tumbling to three-year lows late last week. We are moving to the rhythm of European bourses, said Gregory Karagiannopoulos, analyst at Bank of Cyprus Securities. The Athens benchmark general index held on to early gains, settling 2.07 percent higher at 2,149.12 points after touching an intrasession high of 2,164.27. Banks advanced 1.13 percent while telecom stocks rose 1.83 percent. Brokers said the rebound was logical after last week’s hammering but that low volumes raised questions about its sustainability. Turnover was 147.9 million euros on 32.3 million shares changing hands. Blue chips rose 1.65 percent to 1,201.75 points and mid-cap stocks advanced 3.22 percent. Small-caps rose 3.05 percent. Real estate developer Babis Vovos added 2.58 percent to 14.34 euros and Hellenic Cables 4.4 percent to 2.80 euros after they replaced Sysware and Unisoft on the FTSE/ASE-80 index of small-caps. The years 1991-1996 saw a 60-percent rise in the number of clients for prostitutes while sexual transactions saw a 100 percent rise. Albanian women are often placed in cities near the Albanian border or in the north until traffickers decide where to prostitute them. Other transit points are Volos, Larissa, Karditsa and Lamia, where the women work in bars, secret brothels and massage parlors, often well known to the police. Many are transferred to Athens, Crete and other islands where profitable prostitution rackets are sprouting everywhere.