ECONOMY

War boosts the bourse

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general price index closed on Friday at 1,570.39 points, a rise of 56.51 points, or 3.73 percent, from the previous week’s close. Three of the five sessions – on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday – ended with gains, as the bourse shared the hopes of international markets that the war in Iraq would be a short one. Weekly turnover rose to 324.6 million euros, a daily average of 64.92 million. Among the Financial Times indices, the small-cap FTSE/ASE-80, which had come under the greatest pressure in recent weeks, rebounded highest, rising 7.66 percent. The FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps rose 5.89 percent and the FTSE/ASE-20 blue chip index rose 3.22 percent to close at 758.45 points. The FTSE/ASE-140, a composite of the above three indices, gained 4.10 percent. All sectoral indices registered gains. The biggest gainers were construction (9.79 percent), publishing and printing (9.30 percent), holding companies (8.37 percent) and information technology (7.08 percent). Of the 371 individual stocks traded last week, 321 gained, 42 registered losses and eight remained unchanged. Xifias Fisheries’ preferred stock led all gainers, rising 68.29 percent; it was followed by Hellatex (56.25 percent) and Koumbas Holdings (50 percent). All three are low-priced stocks (under 1 euro per share). Losers were led by Stabilton’s preferred shares (36.92 percent), Allatini (28.89 percent) and Galaxidi Sea Farm (20.91 percent). OTE Telecom was again the most marketable security, with an average turnover of 9.19 million euros per session. It was followed by Public Power Corporation with 3.69 million and National Bank of Greece (2.82 million).