ECONOMY

Major growth for banks, as bourse surprises traders again

The local bourse has a habit of catching investors and traders off-guard with a momentum that often springs from nothing. This was the case at the start of the week, a day before the crucial Eurogroup meeting in Brussels.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index ended at 820.91 points, growing by 3.85 percent from Friday’s closing figure of 790.49 points. The blue-chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index expanded by 5.54 percent to close at 294.57 points.

Stock watchers were particularly surprised by the sharp 13.54 percent ascent of the banks’ sectoral index, especially given the disappointment in the market over the terms for the recapitalization. The rise may denote that some people in the know are expecting something else to happen in the sector.

Alpha Bank climbed by an impressive 20.67 percent, followed by Eurobank (up 16.18 percent) and Piraeus (12.56 percent).

Duty Free Shops was the only loser among blue chips, giving up 0.85 percent.

In total 105 stocks grew, 33 declined and 21 remained unchanged.

Turnover came to 53.1 million euros, up from last Friday’s 39.1 million.