ECONOMY

Buying in a few blue chips helps index rise

Stocks gained slightly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), despite the negative mood in other European markets. Wednesday’s announcement by Capital Market Commission chief Alexis Pilavios that he wants to abolish the so-called T+3 – that is, the ability to pay for one’s stock purchases within three sessions, has nearly frozen transactions in small-capitalization stocks. The ASE general index closed at 3,215.48 points, a gain of 4.44 points or 0.14 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.11 percent to close at 1,779.95 points, while mid-caps and small-caps declined 0.11 percent and 0.31 percent respectively. Interest in a few blue chips helped lift the market. These were refiners Motor Oil (up 4.95 percent to 18.64 euros) and Hellenic Petroleum (2.60 percent to a year-high 11.02 euros), construction group Hellenic Technodomiki (2.63 percent to 4.38 euros), National Bank (1.89 percent to 30.24 euros, with Deutsche Bank raising the target price to 37.30 euros from 32.60 previously), casino and hotel operator Hyatt (1.36 percent to 10.44 euros) and bottler Coca-Cola HBC (1.23 percent to 22.98 euros). Of 330 traded stocks, 98 gained, 163 declined and 69 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 264.88 million euros, including 73.75 million in prearranged trades.