Banks post August gains of 14.24 pct

Outperforming bank heavyweights on Friday boosted Greek stocks, bucking trends in other European markets.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed 0.69 percent higher, at 899.92 points. Large-caps were 0.60 percent higher and the banking index added 4.66 percent, bringing monthly gains to 14.24 percent, against just 1.73 percent for the general index. Piraeus Bank, the turnover leader with 7.25 million euros, surged 5.71 percent to 1.11 euros. Second-placed National Bank, with 6.53 million, climbed 6.99 percent to 3.06 euros. Alpha Bank gained 1.40 percent, closing at 0.51 euros, after reporting better-than-expected net profits of 2.73 billion euros in the first half.

Betting firm OPAP added 2.74 percent, closing at 7.50 euros, while OTE telecom was unchanged at 6.84 euros.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 58 to 51, while turnover rose to 37.28 million euros.