ECONOMY

Strong banks carry general index over 2,700 points

Strong banks helped lift Greek equities 0.66 percent yesterday as investors remained focused on financials after recent news of the merger between the country’s two largest commercial banks. The initial euphoria in the banking sector after the Alpha-National merger has given way to medium-term expectations that similar deals will follow, said Petros Tegopoulos, analyst at Axon Securities. The Athens benchmark general index ended at 2,707.82 points. Trading was interrupted due to problems with the transmission network and resumed at 14.30 GMT to end at 15.00 GMT. There was less aggressive buying than recently but it was still a positive session. We ended above 2,700 points and intrasession profit-taking was fairly easily absorbed, Tegopoulos said. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index added 0.97 percent to 1,496.63 points and banks advanced 1.61 percent. National Bank gained 1.61 percent to 28.98 euros and Alpha Bank rose 2.80 percent to 20.56 euros. Mid-caps on the bourse’s FTSE/ASE-40 index firmed 0.07 percent, while small-caps fell 0.57 percent. Turnover was 250.46 million euros on volume of 55.2 million shares. (Reuters) – An egrappage machine was the quickest method, especially for large quantities. The grapes went into the machine’s funnel and through two serrated cylinders which broke the grapes, while a worm-screw ejected the stems from the machine. But these machines create other kinds of problems, because the cylinders often broke the pips, which contain an oil which makes wine too tangy. These primitive machines were the forerunners of contemporary automatic machines that press the grapes without crushing the pips and that remove the stems intact.