ECONOMY

Interest narrows to blue chips, chiefly telecoms

For the second straight session, it was investor interest in blue chips that drove the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) into positive territory, while mid- and small-capitalization stocks continued their decline. The ASE general index closed at 2,328.20 points, a gain of 13.94 points or 0.60 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips rose 0.61 percent to close at 1,245.60 points, while mid- and small-caps lost 0.25 percent and 0.28 percent respectively. OTE Telecom and mobile telephony subsidiary CosmOTE rose 1.54 percent and 1.66 percent respectively, while Hellenic Petroleum gained 3.63 percent and Viohalco, 2.33 percent. Among banks, Emporiki gained 1.41 percent and National was up 0.89 percent, while Alpha declined 0.10 percent. Of the 351 shares traded yesterday, 105 gained, 154 declined and 92 ended unchanged. The greatest gainers were ETMA’s preferred shares (11.43 percent), Selonda (8.33 percent), Plias (5.26 percent) and Perseus (5.21 percent), while top decliners were Keranis (11.39 percent), Hadziioannou (8.16 percent), Fitco (7.75 percent) and Ergas (6.67 percent). Turnover rose once again, to 97.18 million euros, including 17.53 million euros in prearranged transactions, notably the transfer of six blocks of a total of 553,010 shares of Alpha Bank.