Index steady; investors wait for annual results

Shares closed little changed yesterday, with investors taking a pause ahead of corporate results and general elections next month while Bank of Cyprus outperformed on new peace hopes in Cyprus. «The market is entering a consolidation phase, with investors having already discounted major issues related to upcoming general elections,» said trader Dimitris Sideris at P&K Securities. The general share index closed 0.05 percent up at 2,463.69 points. Bank of Cyprus outperformed, gaining 5.68 percent to 2.79 euros. «The international developments regarding the Cyprus issue positively affected Cypriot stocks today,» said analyst Antonis Kouleimanis at Devletoglou Securities. CosmOTE advanced 1.55 percent to 11.82 euros as investors cheered Norwegian telecom operator Telenor’s decision to shelve plans to sell its 9 percent stake. The Public Power Corporation shed 1.28 percent to 21.60 euros. The utility is one of five candidates that submitted non-binding bids for majority stakes in Bulgaria’s seven state power distribution utilities. Turnover dropped to 116.7 million euros, with 24 million shares changing hands. Decliners led advancers 204 to 86, with 60 unchanged. (Reuters)