ECONOMY

Focus on telecoms after Vodafone news

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index rebounded yesterday, gaining 16.68 points, or 0.77 percent, to close at 2,163.93 points in what seemed a belated response to European markets on Monday. Telecom stocks dominated the session, with service provider OTE and subsidiary CosmOTE advancing 2.57 and 2.29 percent respectively. Vodafone Panafon, which on Monday announced its intention to buy back its entire free float by February 2, 2004, closed 0.33 percent up at 6.16 euros. The company has the 10th largest weighting in the FTSE/ASE 20 blue-chip index. The picture for banks was mixed, with Alpha shedding 1.55 percent, but National and Eurobank gaining 1.07 and 1.13 percent respectively. The bank sectoral index edged up 0.27 percent. Textiles and holding companies advanced 1.62 and 1.37 percent respectively. The Public Power Corporation gained 1.68 percent to 19.34 euros. Blue chips gained 0.69 percent, mid-caps 0.38 percent and small-caps 1.03 percent. The most marketable security was Vodafone, with 4.57 million shares, followed by OTE with 1.37 million. Turnover rose to 180.7 million euros, of which 44.45 million euros was accounted for by block trades. Gainers outnumbered decliners 195 to 101, with 58 share prices unchanged.