Banks, OTE push index close to 1,700 pts

Stocks rose on Wednesday, with index heavyweight OTE bouncing nearly 3 percent as pressure from the private placement of CosmOTE shares eased. Banks continued their rally, adding another 3.68 percent, pushing the general index 1.58 percent higher to 1,691.52 points. In late trade on the bourse, Norway’s Telenor placed about 29.7 million CosmOTE shares at 9.16 euros per share, the low end of the price range for the sale of 9 percent of CosmOTE with institutional investors. CosmOTE ended with losses of 0.43 percent to 9.28 euros while OTE, which fell 3.9 percent on Tuesday as investors made room on their books for CosmOTE shares, gained 2.78 percent to 9.60 euros. Blue chips gained 2.34 percent to 834.57 points. Mid-caps gained 1.28 percent while small-caps rose 1.22 percent. Turnover jumped to 397.11 million euros, with 59.7 million shares changing hands. Winners beat losers 219 to 97 with 44 shares ending unchanged on 360 traded. (Reuters)