ECONOMY

Greek shares heading for best week since 2012 on banks’ rebound

A rebound in Greek lenders this week is sending the benchmark ASE Index to its biggest rally since June 2012.

Even as the gauge was little changed at 818.28 at 11 a.m. in Athens, it advanced 13 percent this week. An official familiar with the decision said the European Central Bank will allow the Greek central bank to provide as much as 59.5 billion euros ($68 billion) in emergency funding for the country’s lenders, a measure needed after it restricted loans to its financial system.

A gauge of lenders has rebounded 19 percent in five days, the most since May 2013, with Eurobank Ergasias SA, Piraeus Bank SA and National Bank of Greece SA up more than 18 percent. The index fell to a record last week. Greek equities recovered all their losses from this year on Feb. 4.

Stock volatility reached its highest level since 2011 this week and trading of ASE shares climbed to a record as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited European leaders with his finance minister to negotiate new debt-repayment terms.

Since former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced presidential elections in December, intraday stock swings for the ASE have doubled from their one-year average, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The index had average daily moves of more than 3 percent this year. [Bloomberg]