Slight gains as investors pocket small-cap profits

Stocks gained slightly on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, with the market showing signs of cooling after the previous week’s heightened activity. There was some interest in certain high-capitalization stocks, while other investors preferred to cash in their gains in small-caps after four profitable sessions. The ASE general index closed at 2,618.99 points, a gain of 8 points or 0.31 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.36 percent to close at 1,444.35 points. Mid-caps gained 0.21 percent but small-caps declined 0.61 percent. The blue chips that pulled the index higher were Emporiki (up 2.79 percent to 22.08 euros), Alpha (2.34 percent to 24.54 euros), Public Power Corporation (1.75 percent to 19.76 euros), CosmOTE (1.60 percent to 13.98 euros) and OPAP (0.79 percent to 17.86 euros). In a report published today, UBS maintained its «buy» recommendation on Emporiki as well as its target price of 27.80 euros per share. Investment bank Bear Stearns initiated its coverage of CosmOTE with an «outperform» rating and a target price of 16.66 euros. Out of 360 traded shares, 112 gained, 173 declined and 75 ended unchanged. Turnover was 128.48 million euros, including 7.92 million in prearranged trades.