ECONOMY

Successful OPAP sale rallies stocks

Equities rallied 3.25 percent yesterday with sentiment boosted by the successful government sale of a 24.45 percent stake in soccer pool and lottery operator OPAP. OPAP shares surged 11 percent to 10.88 euros, a new year high and well above the offering price of 9.44 euros. The shares subsequently trimmed gains to close at 10.30 euros, up 5.10 percent. The benchmark general index closed at 2,041.99 points. «The high demand for OPAP, especially from foreign investors, is a positive message for the Athens Stock Exchange and may drive the stock even higher in the short term,» said analyst Christos Samothrakis at Market Securities. Turnover rose to 223.88 million euros with 50.1 million shares changing hands. Gainers outnumbered losers 317 to 37. OTE Telecom gained 4.68 percent to close at 10.28 euros as investors reacted positively to the group’s plans to shut down indebted Romanian mobile company CosmoRom and hold on to the license. (Reuters)