ECONOMY

Little change overall as investors buy small-caps

Stocks gained slightly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), in a session marked by continuing investor interest for small-capitalization stocks. The ASE general index closed at 3,266.90 points, a gain of 2.53 points or 0.08 percent. Its total gain this week was 0.23 percent, bringing gains since the beginning of the year to 17.25 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.31 percent to close at 1,812.47 points. Mid-caps declined 0.23 percent and small-caps gained 0.57 percent. Among blue chips, the biggest gains were made by construction group Hellenic Technodomiki (up 5.34 percent to 4.34 euros), National Bank (2.74 percent to 30.70 euros), electricity company PPC (1.54 percent to 19.80 euros) and casino and hotel operator Hyatt (0.97 percent to 10.38 euros). By contrast, Hellenic Petroleum shed 2.62 percent to close at 10.40 euros, while electronics retailer and battery manufacturer Germanos declined 1.19 percent to close at 13.34 euros. Of 331 traded stocks, 151 gained, 112 declined and 68 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 544.18 million euros, including 351.44 million in prearranged trades, by far the most important of which was the placement of a 16.4 percent stake of Motor Oil shares (18,174,000 shares) at 17.54 euros per share with foreign institutionals in London.