ECONOMY

Last session of the year ends with limited gains

Equities ended slightly higher yesterday in lackluster trade as firm telecoms helped lift the market on the last trading day of 2001. The Athens bourse general index ended the overall year off 797.3 points or 23.5 percent. «Interest was very low (yesterday) but there was a last bit of window dressing from institutionals. The market was not influenced by the positive international sentiment (yesterday or Thursday),» said Annie Triantafyllou, analyst at National Securities. The general index gained 0.37 percent to 2,591.56 points. The Athens bourse will be closed on Monday and Tuesday. The blue chip index gained 0.44 percent to 1,428.91 points. Mid-caps gained 0.29 percent and small-caps advanced 1.18 percent. Telecoms rose 0.64 percent. OTE Telecom ended at 18.30 euros, up 1.10 percent, but its subsidiary, cellular operator CosmOTE, slipped 0.52 percent to 11.42 euros. Banks as a whole advanced 0.40 percent, though index heavyweight National Bank eased 0.30 percent to 26.72 euros and Alpha Bank slipped 0.40 percent to 20.02 euros. Turnover was 121.72 million euros. (Reuters) The introduction to «Farewell My Little Drachma» is an adequate and lively summary of modern Greece’s monetary history, but the publisher’s note, true to the title, is an exaggerated lamentation of the disappearance of «an integral part of our drab lives» of the past, declaring the aim of the publication as «to counter, as much as possible, the epidemic oblivion» threatening to engulf what was «more than a mere piece of metal.» There is no reason to suppose that the Greeks in the future will be more oblivious of the drachma than they are of any other piece of their history.