ECONOMY

Banks lead index to a 0.94 percent rise

Shares closed up almost 1 percent yesterday, with attention focusing on banks following a comment by Greek Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis that Credit Agricole wanted to buy a further stake in Commercial Bank, traders said. The benchmark general share index closed 0.94 percent higher at 2,045.55 points at low volumes. Christodoulakis was quoted in a daily as saying Credit Agricole representatives confirmed their interest in expanding their 10 percent stake in Commercial by buying another 10 percent the State is putting up for sale. «It’s mostly banks that drove the market today, the minister’s comments… brought renewed interest in the sector. The market has been generally starved for news,» a trader said. Banks closed 1.15 percent up, with Commercial Bank up 2.05 percent to 16.80 euros. Turnover rose slightly to 110.96 million euros, with 24 million shares changing hands. Advancers led decliners 229 to 77, with 52 unchanged on 358 traded. (Reuters)