Heavy blue chip buying leads index past 2,450

The Athens Stock Exchange general index yesterday continued rising, helped by strong buying interest in some blue chips. The general index gained 1.47 percent to close at 2,451.50 points. On a weekly basis, it declined 0.56 percent. Blue chips gained 1.36 percent, mid-caps 1.39 percent and small-caps 1.27 percent. Institutional investors expressed strong interest in mobile telecommunications company CosmOTE. The stock gained 5.45 percent, closing at 13.60 euros, a year high. Parent company OTE gained 2.23 percent, to close at 12.30 euros. EFG Eurobank was the beneficiary of a UBS analysis raising the target price of its stock to 19.70 euros, from 18.60 previously. EFG Eurobank shares rose 3.60 percent, closing at 16.68 euros. Other blue chips with significant gains were Piraeus Bank (3.62 percent), the Athens water and sewage company EYDAP (3.51 percent), the Public Power Corporation (2.96 percent) and cement company Titan (2.28 percent). Most sectoral indices registered gains, with telecoms coming on top (3.57 percent). The exceptions were retail commerce (1.62 percent), real estate (0.47 percent) and construction (0.22 percent). Of the 355 stocks traded, 222 gained, 62 declined and 71 were unchanged. Turnover was 261.18 million euros.