Mid-caps keep index up as profit-taking returns

Greek shares held their own yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), despite profit-taking in blue chips, to consolidate previous days’ gains. The general index edged up 0.02 percent to close at 2,549.35 points. Buying interest shifted to mid-caps, whose index ended 0.47 percent up, in contrast with blue chips and small-caps, which shed 0.20 percent and 0.12 percent respectively. Most sectoral indices headed north but heavyweight banks and telecoms declined 0.34 percent and 1.21 percent. Piraeus Bank and Emporiki bucked the trend, ending 2.29 percent and 1.10 percent up. Eurobank and National headed south. Alpha Bank closed unchanged. OTE Telecom came under pressure, losing 2.54 percent. After the close of trade, OTE announced a plan to increase in its interest in mobile subsidiary CosmOTE from the present 58.98 percent with the incorporation of its subsidiaries in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria, Cosmofon and Globul respectively, within 2005. Non-metallic minerals and cement led sectoral indices with gains of 1.92 percent. Advancers outnumbered decliners 137 to 133, while 86 remained unchanged. Turnover fell to 163.49 million euros. The most marketable securities were OTE, CosmOTE, Piraeus Bank and National Bank.