ECONOMY

Deal helps stock market start week with gains

The absorption of ATEbank by Piraeus, announced late on Friday, brought considerable gains to bank stocks on Monday as the market was desperate for some concrete developments that would allow it to capitalize on the admittedly underpriced local bourse.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index ended just under the 600-point mark, at 599.48 points, adding 2.26 percent to last Friday?s closing figure of 586.26 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index expanded by 3.25 percent to close at 217.12 points.

Two-thirds of the day?s turnover went to banks, with Alpha growing by 12.38 percent, National adding 10.26 percent — as both are expected to bid for Emporiki Bank next — and Piraeus gaining 9.05 percent. ATEbank?s stock was suspended as of Monday.

In total, 61 stocks posted gains, 44 registered losses and 21 remained unchanged.

Turnover amounted to 24.6 million euros, up from Friday?s 15.7 million.