ECONOMY

Index closes in on 3,000 points as banks thrive

Stocks rose yesterday on the Athens Stocks Exchange (ASE), as foreign institutionals bought certain bank stocks and other blue chips, sending the index close to 3,000 points. The ASE general index closed at 2,992.00 points, a gain of 31.72 points or 1.07 percent. At one point during the session, it even went over 3,000 points, peaking at 3,001.20 points. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 1.14 percent to close at 1,681.74 points, while mid-caps and small-caps gained 1.23 percent and 0.44 percent respectively. Among banks, a smaller one, Bank of Attica, stole the show because of rumors the state might entirely severe its links with it. Attica jumped 9.65 percent to close at 5 euros. Among big banks, Emporiki gained 5.72 percent to close at 21.08 euros, followed by EFG Eurobank (up 3.35 percent to 25.08 euros), Piraeus (1.77 percent to 14.96 euros) and Alpha (1.43 percent to 28.34 euros). Several other blue chips made significant gains. They included Intracom (up 4.62 percent to 4.08 euros), Coca-Cola HBC (3.35 percent to 20.98 euros), Hellenic Petroleum (3.17 percent to 8.46 euros) and Titan (1.97 percent to 26.48 euros). Of 341 traded stocks, 160 gained, 111 declined and 70 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 268.68 million euros.