ECONOMY

Interest rebounds for blue chips and mid-caps

Stocks rebounded after initial losses on the Athens bourse yesterday, amid a positive climate in European markets and helped by a Citigroup report that painted an attractive picture of the prospects of Greek banks. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index gained 38.21 points, or 1.34 percent, to close at 2,893.12. This represents gains of 3.84 percent since the beginning of the year. The blue chip FTSE/ASE-20 index gained 1.16 percent to close at 1,611.87 points. Buying interest was also evident for mid-caps and the FTSE/ASE-40 advanced 1.26 percent. Small-caps rose 0.22 percent. The tone of the market was set by heavyweight telecoms and bank stocks. OTE finished 2.64 percent higher, at 13.98 euros, and its subsidiary CosmOTE, 1.03 percent up at 13.76 euros. National Bank gained 1.15 percent to 26.40 euros, Eurobank 1.10 percent to 24.00 euros and Piraeus Bank advanced 1.71 percent to 14.24 euros. Among other blue chips, Coca-Cola HBC climbed 4.85 percent to 20.34 euros and Hellenic Petroleum 3.89 percent to 8.02 euros. Advancers outnumbered decliners 140 to 122, while 72 remained unchanged on 334 traded. Turnover fell to 187.817 million euros.