ECONOMY

Promise of tax cuts ends ASE slump

Shares rebounded after a week of losses yesterday, lifted by Prime Minister Costas Simitis’s promise of tax cuts at a time when the index was sliding toward the psychological limit of 2,000 points, traders said. «The GDP upward revision and prospective corporate tax cuts coupled with Alpha Bank’s successful placement sparked buying interest after the market retreated close to the 2,000 mark,» said broker Nick Diamantopoulos at Kappa Securities’ institutional desk. The bourse had been in the red most of the session, weighed down by a weak bank sector until the turnaround about half an hour before the close brought it up 0.61 percent to 2,075.21 points. Alpha shares rose 3.7 percent to 18 euros, while the banking sector also recovered to close 2 percent higher. Small-caps shed 2.33 percent and mid-caps were 1.63 percent higher. Turnover, which more than doubled to 475 million euros, was boosted by block trades in Alpha shares. (Reuters)