ECONOMY

Index nears 3,500 pts, hits new year high

Stocks gained significantly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the index closing at a new year-high. The ASE general index closed at 3,486.52 points, a gain of 46.34 points or 1.35 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 1.54 percent to close at 1,958.08 points, while mid-caps and small-caps gained 1.06 percent and 0.36 percent respectively. For the second day in a row, betting company OPAP attracted investors’ attention due to management statements of new betting offerings. OPAP gained 4.59 percent to close at 25.98 euros. Other blue chips with significant gains included Intracom (up 1.95 percent to 5.24 euros), National Bank (1.94 percent to a year-high of 34.76 euros), Hellenic Petroleum (1.94 percent to 11.56 euros), Duty Free Shops (1.82 percent to 14.56 euros), Piraeus Bank (1.33 percent to 17.68 euros), OTE (1.46 percent to 18.04 euros), Alpha Bank (1.33 percent to 25.82 euros) and Titan (1.27 percent to 30.28 euros). Of 332 traded stocks, 171 gained, 94 declined and 67 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 330.78 million euros, including 115.14 million in prearranged trades, mostly through the transfer of 34.5 million shares of construction firm J&P-Avax at 2.6 euros apiece.