ECONOMY

Bank stocks help index climb over 3,000 points

Stocks continued their gains on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, breaching the 3,000-point level during the closing minutes of the session, as investors rushed to buy bank stocks in response to the declaration by Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis that the government would pass legislation on banks’ pension fund deficits if talks with unions broke down. The ASE general index closed at 3,019.09 points, a gain of 36.29 points or 1.22 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 1.50 percent to close at 1,693.83 points, while the mid-cap and small-cap indices gained 0.31 percent and 0.32 percent respectively. Among bank stocks, the biggest gain was posted by Alpha Bank (3.17 percent), which closed at 23.44 euros. It was followed by Emporiki (up 2.39 percent to 26.54 euros), EFG Eurobank Ergasias (1.66 percent to 25.70 euros), Piraeus (1.38 percent to 14.74 euros) and National (1.29 percent to 28.18 euros). Other blue chips with significant gains included Viohalco (up 4.48 percent to 5.60 euros), PPC (2.77 percent to 20.80 euros) and Coca-Cola HBC (2.27 percent to 22.52 euros, a 52-week high). Of the 330 traded stocks, 146 gained, 101 declined and 83 ended unchanged. Turnover rose significantly, to 205.44 million euros, including 25 million in prearranged trades. Due to a technical error, the figures in the two tables below are from June 2.