ECONOMY

National Bank leads market 0.62 pct higher

Shares extended gains for the second day in a row yesterday, with National Bank outperforming after the government picked a new chief executive for the country’s largest bank. «The market moved in tandem with European bourses today, which has been quite common in recent sessions,» said analyst Nikos Keranis at Pegasus Securities. The general share index closed 0.62 percent higher at 2,396.92 points. Across Europe, markets headed higher, fueled in part by insurers. National Bank gained 1.62 percent to 21.32 euros after the government named Citigroup banker Takis Arapoglou as its new chairman and chief executive, taking over from Theodoros Karatzas, who died two weeks ago. CosmOTE was another bright spot, trading 0.77 percent up at 13.06 euros after the bourse raised its weighting in the FTSE/ASE-20 and FTSE/ASE-140 indices. The bourse said the move came because the mobile operator’s free float increased after Norway’s Telenor sold its 9 percent stake. The change will go into effect after the close of trade tomorrow. Blue chips gained 0.90 percent, mid-caps nudged up 0.18 percent and small-caps rose 0.13 percent. Turnover fell to 126.53 million euros, with 22.41 million shares changing hands. Advancers led decliners 152 to 138. (Reuters)