Relief over OTE results helps index rise

Stocks rose yesterday as bourse heavyweight OTE gained, cheered by posting a smaller-than-expected drop in net profit in a week in which its foreign investments triggered a review of the company’s credit rating. OTE rose as high as 9.24 euros to close with gains of 1.12 percent at 9.04 euros, while the Athens benchmark general index gained 0.24 percent to 1,712.26 points. «OTE’s better-than-expected result was a psychological boost after all the bad news surrounding OTE recently,» said analyst Dimitris Skapinakis at Marfin Bank. Blue chips rose 0.58 percent to 847.03 points and small-caps gained 0.23 percent, but mid-caps eased 0.63 percent. Ferry operator Minoan Lines jumped 8.27 percent to 1.44 euros after Italian company Santalessandro raised its stake to 5.33 percent from 0.48 percent, paying 1.3 euros per share for the stake. Turnover came to 103.12 million euros, with 26.2 million shares changing hands. Decliners led advancers 196 to 111. (Reuters)