OPAP leads blue chip gains, Papastratos soars

Shares ended with small gains yesterday, holding above the 2,200-point mark, with gaming group OPAP outperforming for the third session in a row on market rumors of an extraordinary dividend. «The market was trying to consolidate at current levels today, with investors in a selective stock-buying mode, targeting mainly blue chips,» said analyst Vassilis Vlastarakis at Contalexis Financial Services. The benchmark general share index nudged up 0.15 percent to 2,204.60 points. OPAP, the biggest blue chip percentage gainer, added 1.55 percent to 11.80 euros after touching a record high of 11.86 euros intrasession. Bellwether National Bank rose 0.11 percent to 18.84 euros after management unveiled plans to buy the remaining 18 percent of unlisted Romanian bank Romaneasca it does not own. National’s Chairman Theodoros Karatzas left the door open for more acquisitions in Romania. Cigarette maker Papastratos soared 11.79 percent to 18.02 euros as Philip Morris Holland, holder of around 98 percent in the Greek firm, continued to mop up minorities with an offer of up to 18.02 euros per share. Turnover eased to 134.32 million euros, with 33.5 million shares changing hands. Decliners outnumbered advancers 182 to 107, with 67 settling unchanged. (Reuters)