Agricultural skyrockets; turnover takes a dive

Greek shares rebounded on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday despite low turnover, propelled by mid-caps, expectations of a government initiative to settle the issue of unfunded social insurance packages at Agricultural (ABG) and Emporiki banks, and its decision to sell a 10 percent stake in ABG. Bourses elsewhere in Europe also rebounded, except in Paris. The general index ended 0.55 percent higher at 2,977.97 points. ABG and its insurance subsidiary skyrocketed with gains of 17.02 and 17.12 percent respectively, while Emporiki advanced 2.04 percent. Among other blue chips, Alpha Bank, Public Power Corporation, Titan, Coca-Cola HBC and Hellenic Technodomiki also advanced. The blue-chip FTSE/ASE-20 index gained 0.54 percent, mid-caps advanced 1.72 percent and small-caps finished 0.61 percent higher. Metals group Mytilineos and its subsidiary Metka climbed 5.24 and 3.24 percent to new year-highs, but Duty Free Shops shed 4.98 percent. Insurance outperformed among sectoral indices with gains of 4.12 percent, while refineries dropped the most, 1.18 percent. Winners outnumbered decliners 146 to 111, while 76 share prices remained unchanged on 333 traded. Turnover fell to just 83.80 million euros, indicating a lack of depth.