ECONOMY

National leads index 0.22 pct higher

Equities resumed their upward drive yesterday led by the National Bank of Greece and its subsidiaries. Initially, the market moved lower, to 2,050 points. From midday onward, however, higher demand led the benchmark general index to close at 2,077.48 points, a gain of 0.22 percent. There was intense interest in National Bank shares, as investors looked forward to surprisingly good first-half group results. The results will be announced tomorrow. National Bank rose 3 percent to close at 17.84 euros. National’s subsidiaries fared even better: Ethniki Insurance rose 10.32 percent to 6.20 euros and Ethniki Real Estate rose 3.16 percent to 5.88 euros. Among sectoral indices, insurance rose 6.02 percent and wholesale commerce 2.47 percent. However, publishing and printing lost 2.47 percent. Blue chips gained 0.34 percent, mid-caps rose 0.58 percent and small-caps 0.65 percent. Turnover fell slightly, to 175.3 million euros.