ECONOMY

Index overcomes early losses; OPAP steals show

Stocks gained yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), overcoming early losses, despite the negative mood in other European markets. The ASE general index closed at 3,440.18 points, a gain of 11.57 points or 0.34 percent. Earlier in the session, it had fallen as low as 3,403.85 points. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.40 percent to close at 1,928.32 points, while mid-caps and small-caps gained 0.19 percent and 1.10 percent respectively. Betting company OPAP jumped 2.81 percent to close at 24.92 euros, thanks largely to a report by investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston raising its target share price to 30 euros. Other blue chips that registered gains included Emporiki Bank (up 1.17 percent to 24.26 euros), Alpha Bank (0.63 percent to 25.48 euros), National Bank (0.53 percent to 34.10 euros) and EFG Eurobank (0.50 percent to a year-high 28.30 euros). By contrast, significant losses were sustained by refiner Hellenic Petroleum (down 1.22 percent to 11.34 euros) and OTE (1.11 percent to 17.78 euros). Of 328 traded stocks, 155 gained, 107 declined and 66 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 238.46 million euros, including 66.91 million in prearranged trades, most from the transfer of a 45 percent stake in holding firm Solvency.