Expectations of strong bank results lift market

Shares rebounded yesterday as investors sent bank stocks higher on hopes the sector will report strong growth for the period ending September. «National Bank and Piraeus Bank lifted the market today with investors expecting improved nine-month results,» said an analyst. Shares in National gained 1.13 percent to 17.96 euros, while Piraeus rose 0.76 percent to 7.98 euros. The benchmark general share index added 0.38 percent to 2,115.86 points. Investors cheered CosmOTE’s decision to drop out of the auction for Cyprus’s first private sector mobile phone license yesterday, taking its shares up 1.0 percent to 9.94 euros. The mobile operator bowed out in the 11th round, saying a higher offer would not meet the return criteria set in its business plan. Shares in Hyatt Regency were 1.08 percent off at 7.34 euros after the hotel and casino operator said it decided to postpone plans to offer a 19 percent stake in subsidiary Athens Resort Casino SA to its existing shareholders. Turnover rose to 541.18 million euros, boosted by the transfer of 36.5 million PPC shares after its recent offering. A total of 42 million shares changed hands. Advancers outnumbered decliners 146 to 124, with 87 unchanged, against 357 traded. (Reuters)