ECONOMY

Privatization news encourages investors

Stocks ended higher yesterday as investors responded positively to the government’s plans to pare back the State’s corporate holdings. The benchmark general index rose 1.66 percent to close at 2,095.77 points, ending two sessions of losses. On Monday the government reiterated plans to pare back stakes in banks over the long term, while the Finance Ministry said it planned to sell up to 20.3 percent of Athens Water and Sewage Company (EYDAP) to a strategic investor. EYDAP was the star performer, soaring 15.41 percent to 6.14 euros after a company source told Reuters that a subsidiary of France’s Vivendi Universal could be interested in a strategic acquisition. EYDAP signed a cooperation deal with Vivendi’s utility arm Veolia Environnement last year. Blue chips rose 1.77 percent to 1,059.35 points, while mid-caps gained 1.96 percent. Turnover was 150.53 million euros. Advancing shares led decliners 274 to 62, with 29 unchanged. (Reuters)