ECONOMY

Merger euphoria lifts Athens exchange 2.33 pct

Across-the-board gains lifted Greek equities 2.33 percent higher yesterday as expectations of more mergers fueled interest after the Alpha and National Bank deal was announced last week. The bourse’s benchmark general index ended at 2,590.10 points. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index rose 1.87 percent to 1,449.82 points Brokers said gains on European bourses also rubbed off on the local market, helping support a strong advance by index heavyweight OTE Telecom. Commercial Bank gained 2.65 percent to 33.30 euros, while the banking subindex rose 1.35 percent. On Friday, Commercial’s Chairman Yiannis Stournaras issued a verbal statement to the media denying what he said was a market rumor that his bank was in talks with Agricultural Bank. Mid-caps on the bourse’s FTSE/ASE-40 index added 3.34 percent, while small-caps gained 4.22 percent. Construction stocks outperformed, jumping 5.27 percent, with investors anticipating merger activity in the sector. Turnover was heavier at 192.96 million euros with 42.3 million shares changing hands. (Reuters) The oldest petrified forest in Greece is in the Evros area. It stretches from Alexandroupolis to the Evros River, and many places in the region wanted to host the museum, which the State eventually decided to build in Alexandroupolis.