Telecoms, banks keep upward momentum

Greek stocks moved in line with positive sentiment in other European markets yesterday due to expectations of important buyouts in the telecoms sector. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index recaptured the 3,300-point level, closing exactly 1 percent higher at 3,310.50. The blue chip FTSE/ASE-20 index added 1.11 percent, the mid-cap FTSE/ASE-40 shed a margin of 0.09 percent, while the small-cap FTSE/ASE-80 gained 0.96 percent. OTE Telecom and its cell-phone operator subsidiary CosmOTE surged 2.01 and 2.43 percent respectively, while telecoms equipment-maker Intracom – which on Friday announced a deal for the acquisition of alternative telecoms operator Hellas On Line – outperformed with hefty gains of 7.11 percent. Banks were also in favor, led by Emporiki, which advanced 3.58 percent. National Bank gained 0.96 percent to a new year-high of 31.40 euros, while Eurobank and Piraeus added 1.34 and 1.11 percent respectively. Textiles outperformed among sectoral indices, ending 2.84 percent higher. Turnover totaled 174.36 million euros, of which 45.3 million was accounted for by the four most heavily traded stocks: banks National and Alpha, the Public Power Corporation and OTE.