Stocks jump to six-month high on bank deal

Greek stocks jumped more than 3 percent on Friday as news that National Bank wants to merge with peer Alpha fueled buying in the sector on hopes that the deal will mark a new round of consolidation activity.

The Athens bourse?s benchmark general index added 3.16 percent to 1,715.13 points, a six-month high. The index added 5.75 percent in the last week.

Bank stocks raced 6.93 percent higher.

Hellenic Postbank (TT), expected by many punters to be next on the government?s privatization list, soared 19.77 percent to 4.12 euros. Eurobank EFG moved 16.89 percent higher to 5.26 euros and Piraeus Bank ended at 1.87 euros, up 15.43 percent.

The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index climbed by 4.25 percent to end at 809.35 points.

Power company PPC gained 1.66 percent to 12.88 euros and OTE telecom added 2.37 percent to 7.77 euros.

Betting company OPAP ranked among the day?s losers, shedding 1.84 percent to 16 euros, as did Coca-Cola Hellenic, which finished at 20.70 euros, off 1.05 percent.

Turnover rose to 192.1 million euros from 130 million previously.

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