ECONOMY

New year-high set as investors boost OTE

Stocks reached a new year-high on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday, despite the fact that trading was relatively subdued. Still, Athens outperformed most European bourses. The ASE general index closed at 2,647.06 points, a gain of 11.63 points or 0.44 percent. On a weekly basis, it gained 0.91 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.36 percent to close at 1,459.83 points. Mid-caps gained 0.30 percent while small-caps dropped 0.47 percent. OTE Telecom gained 1.96 percent to close at 12.30 euros, despite the fact that its nine-month results were worse than most analysts expected and that Chairman and CEO Panagis Vourloumis announced that he would propose that no dividend be distributed for 2004. Mobile telecommunications subsidiary CosmOTE declined 1.02 percent, to 13.50 euros. Among blue chips, state betting company OPAP gained 0.83 percent to set a new year-high of 19.40 euros. Significant gains were also posted by Hellenic Petroleum (2.37 percent to 7.78 euros), Intracom (2.14 percent to 3.82 euros) and Public Power Corporation (1.61 percent to 20.14 euros). Out of 358 traded shares, 115 gained, 144 declined and 99 ended unchanged. Turnover declined to 135.15 million euros, including 19 million in prearranged trades.