ECONOMY

Market at 3,100 pts as bank stocks still thrive

Stocks gained yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), as investor interest in bank stocks continued unabated. Investors flocking to bank stocks think that the solution to bank employees’ pension funds will benefit the sector. Privately, however, some bankers are complaining that the stock prices are becoming overvalued, making mergers and acquisitions more difficult. The ASE general index closed at 3,098.10 points, a gain of 16.77 points or 0.54 percent. During the session it momentarily broke through the 3,100-point level, peaking at 3,110.83. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.69 percent to close at 1,750.74 points, while mid- and small-caps gained 0.26 percent and 0.43 percent respectively. Among banks, interest focused on Eurobank, which gained 3.13 percent to close at 26.98 euros, and Piraeus Bank, which gained 3.86 percent to close at 15.52 euros. Regarding the latter, Citigroup revised its target price to 16.80 euros from 14.80 previously. Alpha Bank gained 0.98 percent, closing at 24.72 euros. Of the 335 traded stocks, 148 gained, 107 declined and 80 ended unchanged. Turnover rose sharply, reaching 239.44 million euros, including 55 million in prearranged trades.