ECONOMY

Telecoms raise index closer to 3,300 points

Stocks gained slightly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with investors expressing interest in telecommunications firms in an otherwise muted session. The ASE general index closed at 3,289.15 points, a gain of 16.88 points or 0.52 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.50 percent to close at 1,838.39 points, while mid-caps and small-caps declined 0.54 percent and 0.38 percent respectively. Yesterday’s events were partly determined by the maturity of share-convertible certificates in OTE. Since at their issue these certificates were priced too high, no holder was expected to exercise the option and buy OTE shares. This leaves the government with an extra 10.94 percent stake in OTE, which it intends to sell. There have been widespread rumors that the government would actively push the stock above 18 euros per share before selling the extra stake to investors as, otherwise, in combination with the redemption of the certificates, it would face an overall loss. OTE shares gained 2.30 percent to close at 16.92 euros, while mobile telecoms subsidiary CosmOTE gained 3.57 percent to close at 16.24 euros. Of 331 traded stocks, 105 gained, 158 declined and 68 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 165.26 million euros, including 37 million in prearranged trade.