Banks drive ASE rally; Agricultural on a high

Shares gained ground on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, in a rally driven by banks and some of their subsidiaries. The ASE general index closed at 2,411.73 points, a rise of 10.69 points or 0.45 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.65 percent to close at 1,321.21 points and mid-caps gained 0.60 percent. By contrast, small caps declined 0.09 percent. National Bank and EFG Eurobank Ergasias set year-high records at 20.82 euros and 19.94 euros respectively after rising 0.58 percent and 1.42 percent. The most impressive performance, however, was by Agricultural Bank of Greece, which gained 15.95 percent and its subsidiary, Agrotiki Insurance, which gained 17.65 percent. Investors were counting on information about an imminent restructuring of Agricultural’s group. Among Banks, Emporiki and Piraeus gained 1.58 percent and 0.61 percent respectively, but Alpha Bank dropped 0.90 percent. OTE Telecom and metals group Viohalco both gained 2.79 percent and Coca-Cola HBC rose 1.14 percent. On the other hand, construction firm Hellenic Technodomiki dropped 1.92 percent, Hellenic Petroleum lost 1.72 percent and CosmOTE declined 0.43 percent. Of the 358 traded shares, 142 gained, 136 declined and 80 remained unchanged. Turnover rose to 92.56 million euros.