ECONOMY

Investors still reluctant despite positive news

Stocks gained for a second day in a row on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, as investors responded positively to the government’s reform and privatization projects, and international markets were also positive. Still, trading volume remained relatively low. The ASE general index closed at 2,982.80 points, a gain of 13.46 points or 0.46 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.53 percent to close at 1,668.84 points, while the mid-cap and small-cap indices gained 0.18 percent and 0.44 percent respectively. A number of blue chips helped the general index end in positive territory: Emporiki Bank (up 2.29 percent to close at 25.92 euros), bottler Coca-Cola HBC (1.94 percent to 22.02 euros), mobile telecom company CosmOTE (1.54 percent to 14.76 euros), National Bank (1.53 percent to 27.82 euros) and Alpha Bank (1.43 percent to 22.72 euros). By contrast, state-controlled betting organization OPAP, soon to be privatized, dropped 2.32 percent to 21.02 euros; the Public Power Corporation declined 0.98 percent to 20.24 euros, and EFG Eurobank Ergasias slipped 0.55 percent to 25.28 euros. Of the 327 traded stocks, 155 gained, 101 declined and 71 ended unchanged. Turnover rose slightly, to 153.70 million euros, including 24 million in prearranged trades.