ECONOMY

Index pushed to positive territory by strong OTE

Shares on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) ended on a positive note yesterday, with telecoms operator OTE extending a five-day climb after the government picked a new chief executive for the group. «OTE propped up the market today while the small uptrend in European bourses also lent support. Greece will continue to track markets abroad in the absence of significant developments,» said analyst Elias Lazaris at Artion Securities. The general share index closed 0.19 percent up at 2,445.20 points, after sliding 1.41 percent on Wednesday. OTE was among the few blue chip gainers, rising 2.20 percent to 12.10 euros, a five-week closing high. Traders said investors were cheering the previous day’s news that Panagis Vourloumis is set to become chief executive at the country’s largest company. Banks were among the decliners, with National Bank losing 0.35 percent to 22.52 euros, Alpha Bank shedding 0.45 percent to 26.28 euros and EFG Eurobank ending 0.47 percent lower at 17.06 euros. Blue chips edged up 0.14 percent, but mid-caps and small-caps fell 0.20 percent and 0.29 percent respectively. Turnover nudged up to 100.60 million euros, with 16.99 million shares changing hands. Decliners led advancers 147 to 132. (Reuters)