Interest in blue chips sends index up 0.62 pct

Stocks closed mixed yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange, with investor interest in blue chips counterbalanced by losses in smaller companies. The ASE general index closed at 2,948.48 points, a gain of 18.21 points or 0.62 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.79 percent to close at 1,625.08 points, although mid- and small-caps declined 0.04 percent and 0.70 percent respectively. Two blue chips, cement company Titan and electricity distribution monopoly PPC, reached year-highs: Titan closed at 27.14 euros, having gained 4.87 percent. PPC gained 0.59 percent to close at 23.82 euros. Other, non-blue chip stocks that reached year-highs were Bank of Cyprus (up 4.37 percent to 3.34 euros), Geniki Bank (1.43 percent to 11.38 euros) and Thessaloniki Port Authority (2.30 percent to 8.88 euros). Significant gains were also posted by Hellenic Petroleum (up 1.61 percent to 8.84 euros), EFG Eurobank (1.29 percent to 25.14 euros) and Alpha Bank (1.03 percent to 25.52 euros). Out of 351 traded stocks, 121 gained, 176 declined and 54 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 186.45 million euros, including 45.2 million in prearranged trades, the most important being the placement of a 13.8 percent stake in construction firm Terna with foreign mutual funds.

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