ECONOMY

Financials carry the Athens bourse index higher

Gains in index heavyweight National Bank helped lift Greek equities 0.77 percent higher yesterday as investors selectively bought financials, shrugging off European bourses’ weak performances. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index ended at 2,388.74 points after an intrasession high of 2,401.50 points. Brokers said there was some institutional buying in the country’s largest commercial bank, National, as the market discounted positive nine-month results. The Finance Ministry confirmed on Friday it received new improved binding bids from Agricultural Bank and Piraeus Bank for the sale of up to 65.56 percent in ETBA Bank. A final decision is expected today, according to ministry sources. National Bank gained 1.63 percent to 27.46 euros. Banks gained 1.52 percent. Alpha Bank gained 1.36 percent to 19.32 euros after Lehman Brothers upgraded its share to market perform from a previous market underperform. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index advanced 1.08 percent to 1,336.51 points. Mid-caps firmed 0.33 percent and small-caps advanced 0.87 percent. Turnover was 66.39 million euros on 12.04 million shares traded. (Reuters) It is thus wrong to say that obesity is an indication of prosperity. In fact, obesity is more common when educational levels and purchasing power are low. In Greece, unfortunately, the gap between rich and poor seems to be growing, and the recent, indirect redistribution of wealth brought about by the stock market crisis only widened it.