ECONOMY

Stocks rally 4.4 pct higher

Greek stocks jumped more than 4 percent on Tuesday, strongly outperforming their major European peers, after Credit Suisse raised its rating on the country?s equities.

The Athens bourse?s benchmark general index rose 4.41 percent to 1,663.60 points, just off the session high of 1,667 points.

The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index advanced 5.35 percent to 780.14 points.

?Greece is the cheapest of the peripheral markets,? Credit Suisse said in a note, citing banks? loan-to-deposit ratios and ?underleveraged? clients. The brokerage raised its rating to ?benchmark? from ?underweight.?

National Bank surged 7.65 percent to 7.60 euros and Alpha Bank rallied 10.75 percent to 4.74 euros.

Eurobank EFG moved ahead 10.75 percent to 4.74 euros.

Changes being implemented by Greece in exchange for a 110-billion-euro bailout crafted in May might raise productivity ?significantly,? the brokerage added.

Piraeus Bank leapt 6.02 percent to 1.76 euros after it said that it had completed an 807-million-euro capital increase, receiving bids of more than 1 billion euros in its rights offer.

OTE telecom shed 2.25 percent to 7.37 euros. On Monday, the company said it had been notified by the Greek state that it owed an additional 129.8 million euros to pension funds for early retirement plans conducted in 2005 and 2006 and that the amount will be charged to 2010 earnings.

Turnover reached 240.24 million euros versus 113 million in the previous session.