Alpha Bank leads index up; OTE underperforms

Stocks gained yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) for the second day in a row. The ASE general index closed at 3,231.48 points, a gain of 25.49 points or 0.80 percent. During the session, it reached a high of 3,243.98 points. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.99 percent to close at 1,801.25 points. Mid-caps gained 0.24 percent but small-caps declined 0.05 percent. Alpha Bank was the session’s star. Better than expected first-half results sparked foreign investor interest in Greece’s second-largest bank and led its stock, which has been mostly on the decline recently, 5.31 percent higher to 22.62 euros. Significant gains were also posted by Coca-Cola HBC (up 3.50 percent to 24.84 euros), Viohalco (2.20 percent to 5.58 euros) and National Bank (1.48 percent to 30.12 euros). By contrast, OTE’s announcement that net first-half profit had risen 107.7 percent did not move investors, who were more impressed with an announcement that there will be no imminent strategic partnership with a foreign investor. OTE’s stock dropped 2.21 percent, closing at 16.80 euros. Of 337 traded stocks, 127 gained, 121 declined and 89 ended unchanged. Turnover jumped to 206.85 million euros, including 2.31 million in prearranged trade.