ECONOMY

Little movement except for some bank stocks

Shares rose slightly on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, as the market appears to have stabilized just above 2,400 points at present. The ASE general index closed at 2,410.76 points, a gain of 2.08 points or 0.09 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.17 percent to close at 1,315.21 points, while mid-caps gained 0.01 percent and small-caps retreated 0.19 percent. There was strong interest in Alpha Bank shares, which gained 1.18 percent to close at 22.30 euros. In a research note, investment bank Merrill Lynch reiterated its target price of 24.30 euros and its «buy» recommendation. Other blue chips that gained ground were Emporiki Bank (up 2.18 percent to 18.72 euros), National Bank (0.49 percent to 20.62 euros), metals group Viohalco (1.39 percent to 5.82 euros) and Hellenic Petroleum (0.87 percent to 6.94 euros). OTE Telecom fell slightly (0.18 percent to 10.96 euros) as did mobile telecommunications subsidiary CosmOTE (0.14 percent to 14.04 euros). Of the 352 traded stocks, 108 gained, 170 declined and 74 ended unchanged. Turnover fell significantly, to 62.32 million euros, including 5.1 million in prearranged trades of share blocks.