ECONOMY

Delay in National sale delights investors

Shares closed almost 1 percent up yesterday after a day of seesawing action, on what traders said was targeted buying after almost three weeks of losses. The index closed up 0.95 percent at 2,094.87 points, leaning heavily on heavyweight National Bank, which was boosted by press talk the government might delay a planned sale of a 10 percent stake until market conditions improve. «The market is a bit tired from all the recent placements,» said analyst Stamatis Diavatidis at Marfin Securities. «This delay was well-received because the market might not be able to absorb that stake as well as other expected share sales and privatizations.» National closed up 0.79 percent at 18 euros, while fellow heavyweight banks Alpha and Eurobank closed up 0.89 and 0.43 percent, respectively. Turnover was 164.3 million euros. Gainers led losers by 274 to 45, with 48 stocks unchanged. (Reuters)