ECONOMY

Interest focuses on mid-caps, construction

Stocks gained slightly on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday, following a slow start, to reach a new year-high. The session was marked by heavy interest in medium-capitalization stocks and a lower turnover level. The ASE general index closed at 2,912.70 points, a gain of 8.56 points or 0.29 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.12 percent to close at 1,631.31 points, while mid-caps and small-caps gained 1.32 percent and 0.48 percent respectively. Once again, there was great interest in construction firms Hellenic Technodomiki and Aktor, due to rumors of a possible divestment by the Bobolas family, which controls them. They gained 4.92 percent and 1.91 percent respectively. Four stocks reached year-highs. These were metals group Viohalco, metals trader Mytilineos and refiners Hellenic Petroleum and Motor Oil. Gainers among blue chips included Germanos (up 2.87 percent to 23.64 euros) and EFG Eurobank (1.22 percent to 24.96 euros). By contrast, OTE and CosmOTE fell 1.16 percent and 0.55 percent respectively. Among mid-caps, top gainers were S&B Industrial Minerals, construction firm Metka, Lambrakis Press and Geniki Bank. Of the 355 traded stocks, 146 gained, 136 declines and 73 ended unchanged. Turnover was 152.12 million euros.