ECONOMY

Index moves up slightly, tracks European bourses

Shares ended in positive territory yesterday, with Piraeus Bank outperforming after a rating upgrade that followed the completion of its takeover of ETBA Bank. «The market was very quiet today amid a lack of news flow as it winds down ahead of the Christmas holidays,» said analyst Nikos Keranis at Pegasus Securities. The benchmark general share index edged up 0.23 percent to 2,187.81 points, tracking European markets which headed higher on the rally in oil stocks and a higher-than-forecast jump in German business confidence. Piraeus, Greece’s sixth-largest bank by market value, advanced 3.17 percent to 9.12 euros, after hitting an intra-session high of 9.22, its highest level since late August. «The stock was probably positively affected by a rating upgrade by Fitch and the completion of its takeover of ETBA Bank,» said analyst Sophia Skourtis at Marfin Hellenic Securities. Rating agency Fitch on Wednesday upgraded Piraeus’s long-term rating to BBB+ with a stable outlook, citing the bank’s strengthened position in Greece after it finalized its takeover of ETBA on Tuesday. Turnover rose to 133.12 million euros, with 34.8 million shares changing hands. Advancers outnumbered decliners 175 to 115, with 63 unchanged. (Reuters)