National Bank stars in a day with heavy trade

Stocks made significant gains on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, as across-the-board investor interest, already apparent on Wednesday, heated up. The Athens Stock Exchange general index closed at 2,463.33 points, a gain of 38.31 points or 1.58 percent. It was the highest closing level since May 14. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 1.63 percent to close at 1,349.26 points, while mid- and small-caps gained 2.23 percent and 1.80 percent respectively. The session was marked by foreign institutionals’ interest in National Bank of Greece on the back of three foreign bank reports recommending the stock and increasing its target price, with JP Morgan setting it as high as 28 euros. National gained 3.64 percent to close at a year-high 21.64 euros. EFG Eurobank also set a year-high of 20.38 euros after gaining 1.39 percent. Emporiki and Alpha gained 3.04 percent and 1.63 percent respectively. CosmOTE gained 3 percent to close at 14.42 euros, yet another year-high. Investors showed interest in stocks included in the new Eurobank Mid-Cap Private Sector 50 index. Eurobank announced it will launch a mutual fund tracking the index. Out of 354 traded stocks, 242 gained, 50 declined and 62 ended unchanged. Turnover rose to 166.63 million euros.