Blue chips fuel ascent

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index ended 0.81 percent higher on Friday than the previous week, closing at 3,098.61 points. Weekly turnover totaled 955.61 million euros, an average per session of 191.12 million against 1.13 billion euros a week earlier. The ASE quickly recovered from the jitters of Thursday’s terrorist attacks in London, in line with foreign markets with which it is now closely linked. More than 44 percent of the total capitalization of the blue-chip FTSE/ASE 20 index (about 34 billion euros of the 74 billion) now belongs to foreign portfolios. Blue chips led the ascent, their index gaining 1.18 percent. In contrast, the mid-cap and small-cap indices both ended 0.47 percent lower. Decliners outnumbered advancers 194 to 122, while 33 share prices remained unchanged week-on-week, on 349 stocks traded. Analysts point out that the picture in the Greek stock market is becoming much clearer after the publication of first-quarter results and the promotion of a solution to banks’ pension fund issues which is seen as likely to lead the way toward mergers in the sector. In combination with the new measures against market abuse, coming into effect today, and the initial public offering from July 13-15 of 16.44 percent of betting firm OPAP – the biggest in the history of the bourse, the market is considered capable of moving on to higher levels. The price range for OPAP’s IPO will be announced tomorrow, and the final offer price on Monday, July 18.

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