ECONOMY

Bourse soars on bank merger

The merger deal between Alpha Bank and Eurobank EFG saw the local stock market soar on Monday in anticipation of more mergers and further consolidation, both in the credit sector and elsewhere. As a result, the main index has returned above the 1,000-point mark, but the question now is whether this euphoria will or will not prove short-lived.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index ended at 1,006.59 points, rebounding by 14.37 percent from last Friday?s closing figure of 880.08 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index expanded by 17.79 percent to end at 430.42 points.

Nine blue chips showed gains of at least 25 percent, led by Alpha and Marfin Investment Group, which climbed by 30 percent, Hellenic Postbank, which rose by 29.52 percent, Eurobank, which expanded by 29.48 percent, Bank of Cyprus that added 29.31 percent and National Bank that grew by 29.14 percent.

In total, 168 stocks moved up, 13 went down and 21 remained unchanged.

Turnover came to 86.7 million euros, up from just 58 million euros last Friday.