ECONOMY

Alpha Bank results help index rise 1.22 percent

Shares rebounded over 1 percent on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday on the back of Alpha Bank’s strong first-quarter earnings, with banks scoring gains on expectations of more pleasant earnings reports in the sector. The benchmark general share index rose 1.22 percent to 2,553.76 points, ignoring glum European markets, which drifted lower on disappointing figures from Siemens and Unilever. «Today’s good results from Alpha are leading the market to expect other banks to post forecast-beating results,» said Vassilis Antoniadis, fund manager at Marfin Mutual Funds. Alpha Bank gained 1.59 percent to 26.84 euros, while shares in National Bank gained 1.22 percent at 24.82 euros, with banking sector ending 1.85 percent higher. Emporiki Bank shares closed 3.9 percent higher at 22.40 euros, while EFG Eurobank rose 1.47 percent to 17.90 euros. Gaming group OPAP was another outperformer, up 2.81 percent to 16.08 euros, continuing its rally on what traders said was the afterglow of positive research on the stock. «The upgrade of price targets by foreign analysts up to 18 euros still has an impact, the share is continuing its ascent to that level,» a said. Blue chips rose 1.36 percent, mid-caps were up 0.78 percent, while small-caps rose 0.68 percent. (Reuters)