ECONOMY

PPC leads blue chips as hopes rise for privatizations

Public Power Corporation (PPC) yesterday led Greek blue chip gains as investors appeared to bank on a take-off in the country?s privatization program.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) benchmark index gained 1.95 percent, closing at 620.46 points. The FTSE-20 blue chip index was 2.48 percent higher, at 225.83 points. PPC surged 8.04 percent, closing at 2.24 euros. It has gained 43 percent since June 28. OTE telecoms advanced 4.95 percent to 2.12 euros, and OPAP, 34 percent owned by the state and high on the government?s privatizations list, added 3.31 percent to 5.31 euros.

Banks were led by Alpha, which is considered a strong contestant to buy out Emporiki Bank. It advanced 6.20 percent to 1.37 euros. Turnover surged to 25.16 million.