OTE results maintain momentum of rebound

Stocks extended recent gains yesterday, with index heavyweight OTE Telecom leading the advance as investors cheered the group’s better-than-expected nine-month results. The benchmark general share index ended 0.42 percent firmer at 2,183.09 points. OTE rose 2.24 percent to 10.02 euros. The group on Wednesday reported a smaller-than-expected 18.9 percent drop in third-quarter net profit on lower payroll costs. «It was good news after a batch of bad news recently. The share price rise is a relief rally,» said analyst Paris Mantzavras at HSBC Pantelakis Securities. Telecom equipment maker Intracom closed 1.10 percent higher at 5.50 euros after clinching a deal on Wednesday to sell its 9.4 percent stake in Panafon to Britain’s Vodafone Group for 6.18 euros a share. Panafon’s shares ended 0.32 percent softer at 6.18 euros. Analysts said Vodafone may make an offer to buy out the remaining free float within a year and delist the company. The prospect of a Panafon delisting sent Cosmote shares up 1.75 percent to 10.44 euros. «As the only listed mobile company in Greece, the operator could see an inflow of funds,» said Mantzavras. Turnover eased to 167.06 million euros, with 29.25 million shares changing hands. Winners outnumbered losers 208 to 101, with 52 stocks closing unchanged. (Reuters)