ECONOMY

Banks help push index higher in quiet session

Bank shares propped up the market yesterday, in a rather colorless trading session with moderate turnover. The Athens Stock Exchange general index closed exactly one point higher, at 2,447.16 points, a 0.04 percent change. Banks rose 0.69 percent. Investors focused on Alpha Bank, which rose 2.36 percent to close at 25.14 euros, while Eurobank rose 0.71 percent, to 16.98 euros. In a research report published yesterday, Smith Barney raised the Alpha Bank target price to 28 euros from 23 euros. It also raised the target price for EFG Eurobank from 20.50 euros from 14.20. Among other blue chip stocks, Coca-Cola HBC advanced 1.47 percent, to 19.32 euros, a year high, and Cosmote rose 1.70 percent, to 13.16 euros. On the other hand, Intracom and OPAP came under selling pressure, losing 4.42 percent and 2.63 percent, respectively. Blue chips gained 0.09 percent, closing at 1,270.08 points. Mid-caps declined 0.24 percent and small-caps remained unchanged. Among 362 shares traded, 116 gained, 177 declined and 69 remained unchanged. Turnover fell slightly to 149.4 million euros, of which just 5.13 million concerned prearranged transactions. The market’s total capitalization now stands at 90.2 billion euros.