National Bank helps index rise marginally

Shares nudged up yesterday, with National Bank lending support to the market as investors switched back into safe-haven stocks. «Banks were doing very well today, it could be investors doing some portfolio reshuffling, moving from telecoms into banking shares,» said analyst Costas Zareifopoulos at Pendethekas Securities. The general share index added 0.19 percent to 2,208.73 points. National Bank, the biggest blue chip percentage gainer, rallied 2.55 percent to 19.32 euros as investors welcomed news of its expansion into Romania and the State’s sale of part of its 7.5 percent stake to social security fund IKA. «National’s evaluation is attractive as it has not gone up as fast as its rivals in recent sessions,» said Zareifopoulos. Investors cheered gaming system operator Intralot’s expansion into Peru with a 100 percent purchase of a Peruvian gaming systems firm, sending its stock up 0.53 percent to 15.12 euros. Ferry operator Minoan Lines added 3.08 percent to 2.01 euros as it said it will appeal against a European Court verdict upholding a 3.26-million-euro fine levied for price fixing. Turnover rose to 156.09 million euros, with 25.1 million shares changing hands. Advancers led decliners 166 to 119, with 76 unchanged. (Reuters)