ECONOMY

Stocks stable after two sessions of profit taking

Firm banks outweighed weak telecoms yesterday, leaving the Athens bourse 0.23 percent higher as the market stabilized after two sessions of profit taking. Brokers said the market digested Alpha Bank’s nine-month results. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index closed at 2,370.46 points. The bourse ended the week with overall gains of 24.95 points or 1.06 percent. Alpha Bank dipped 1.65 percent to 19.06 euros after reporting Thursday a 1.4-percent fall in group net profit after minorities for the nine months to end-September. Banks gained 0.56 percent and National Bank outperformed, rising 2.04 percent to 27.02 euros. ETBA Bank eased 0.77 percent to 5.14 euros. Greece’s Finance Ministry confirmed yesterday it had received improved, binding bids from Agricultural Bank and Piraeus Bank for a stake in state-owned ETBA. A decision on the sale of up to 65.56 percent in ETBA Bank is likely on Monday. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index rose 0.31 percent to 1,322.28 points. Mid-caps advanced 0.55 percent while small-caps gained 0.60 percent.