ECONOMY

Profit-taking leads to index ending almost flat

Shares ended marginally higher yesterday but down 1.4 percent on the week with investors booking recent gains on Alpha Bank. EFG Eurobank was steady after Deutsche Bank’s successful placement. «The market was flat throughout the session, held back by losses in banks, especially profit-taking in Alpha Bank,» said analyst Vassilis Vlastarakis at Contalexis Financial Services. The benchmark general share index nosed up 0.10 percent to 2,163.47 points. Buoyed by strong nine-month results and upgradings by investment banks, the shares had gained in the last week, setting a fresh year-high on Thursday. Deutsche Bank sold its 9.3 percent stake in Eurobank to Greek and international investors at 13.20 euros a share on Thursday, raising 385 million euros. OTE Telecom gained 1.27 percent to 9.54 euros after the commercial head of its fixed-line unit told Reuters the operator plans fresh discounts and a new pricing strategy to retain customers. OTE will also seek shareholder approval on December 1 for the renewal of its share buyback scheme. A higher price target from Morgan Stanley lifted gaming group OPAP 0.37 percent higher to 10.78 euros. Turnover was 114.29 million euros, with 18 million shares changing hands. Decliners outnumbered advancers 179 to 102, with 78 stocks ending unchanged. (Reuters)