Market surges after upbeat reports for OTE

Shares rebounded on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, with an revival of interest in blue chips by foreign institutional investors, apparently sparked by positive reports by investment banks on OTE Telecom. JP Morgan upgraded its recommendation from underweight to overweight and raised its target price from 11 to 13 euros, while Morgan Stanley raised its target price from 11.50 to 12.50 euros. OTE surged 4.99 percent to close at 11.78 euros. The general index gained 28.16 points, or 1.16 percent, closing at 2,463.08 points. Buying interest also drove National Bank 2.82 percent up, while Eurobank gained 0.96 percent to close at 20.94 euros, a year-high. Alpha advanced 0.83 percent on the eve of the announcement of its nine-month results. Intracom gained 1.32 percent and the Public Power Corporation 0.93 percent. Small- and mid-caps did not follow the pace of blue chips, but still ended on higher ground. Among individual sectors, telecommunications, publishing, insurance and banks made the strongest gains. Turnover rose to 135.75 million euros, of which 32.90 million was accounted for by block trades. Advancers outnumbered decliners 148 to 113, with 89 unchanged on 350 traded.