Small- and mid-caps lead to index rebound

Greek shares returned to a winning direction yesterday after losing 2.20 percent in the previous two sessions. Small- and mid-caps carried the day, which was marked by relatively wide fluctuations. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index ended 0.76 percent up at 2,597.42 points after fluctuating between -0.05 percent and 1.20 percent. Blue chips advanced 0.79 percent, mid-caps, 1.12 percent, and small-caps, 1.41 percent. Banks National and Piraeus were at the center of interest in blue chips, advancing 3.08 percent and 3.67 percent, respectively. Investment bank UBS raised its target price for National from 24 to 27 euros, while maintaining a «buy» recommendation, after the Greek bank reported a 25.3 percent surge in nine-month profit on Tuesday. Coca-Cola HBC gained 2.33 percent after announcing a 34 percent jump in nine-month net profit to 178,1 million euros. Advancers outnumbered decliners 202 to 89, while 65 share prices remained unchanged. Turnover increased to 180.44 million euros. The most marketable securities were National Bank, OPAP and Alpha Bank. Analysts, encouraged by the rebound in turnover, say further gains are likely in the next few days.