Index stabilizes; small banks outperform again

Stocks stabilized yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange, with selling in blue chips being balanced by interest in medium- and small-capitalization stocks. The ASE general index closed at 3,288.09 points, a drop of 0.55 points or 0.02 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.14 percent to close at 1,831.66 points, while mid-caps and small-caps gained 0.32 percent and 0.97 percent, respectively. Small banks continued to attract investor interest. Egnatia Bank gained 10.44 percent, Aspis Bank 4.88 percent and Bank of Cyprus 3.91 percent. Most blue chips suffered significant losses, including telecommunications equipment manufacturer Intracom (3.31 percent to 5.84 euros) and bottler Coca-Cola HBC (1.89 percent to 24.98 euros). By contrast, EFG Eurobank gained 1.21 percent to close at 25.02 euros and betting company OPAP rose 0.76 percent, to 26.40 euros. Egnatia Bank was the most heavily traded stock, both in terms of actual shares changing hands (5,074,258) and in value (19.388 million euros). Of 335 traded stocks, 137 gained, 118 declined and 80 ended unchanged. Turnover tumbled to 143.97 million euros, including 14.12 million in prearranged trades.