ECONOMY

Telecoms stocks push market to a fresh high

Stocks reached a new year-high yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), led by heavy buying of OTE and CosmOTE shares. The ASE general index closed at 2,720.86 points, a gain of 23.39 points or 0.87 percent. This is the highest closing level since early December 2001. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.97 percent to close at 1,501.38 points. Mid- and small-caps gained 1.09 percent and 0.33 percent, respectively. OTE gained 2.01 percent to close at a year-high 13.22 euros, while CosmOTE, its mobile telecommunications subsidiary, gained 1.97 percent to close at 14.46 euros. EFG Eurobank also posted a year-high of 23.20 euros, after gaining 1.05 percent. Electricity utility PPC recovered from Wednesday’s fall, rising 1.71 percent to close at 20.28 euros, while National Bank gained 1.02 percent to close at 23.82 euros. Jewelry firm Folli-Follie gained 4.17 percent to close at 22.46 euros. Out of the 353 traded stocks, 140 gained, 141 declined and 72 ended unchanged. Turnover declined to 169.68 million euros, including 29.8 million in prearranged trades, the most important of which concerned two blocks of OPAP shares, a total of 437,200, and three blocks of CosmOTE shares, a total of 329,030.