ECONOMY

New year-high at ASE as small-caps outperform

Stocks posted sharp gains yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), reaching yet another five-year high, in a session marked by a significantly lower turnover than before Christmas but also by continued investor interest in small-capitalization firms. The ASE general index closed at 3,658.17 points, a gain of 61.92 points or 1.72 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 1.52 percent to close at 2,011.03 points, while mid- and small-caps gained 1.92 percent and 5.00 percent respectively. The biggest gains among blue chips were recorded by bottler Coca-Cola HBC (up 4.86 percent to 25.48 euros), metals group Viohalco (4.27 percent to 6.84 euros), Emporiki Bank (4.21 percent to 27.20 euros), mobile telecommunications service provider Cosmote (3.72 percent to 19.50 euros), EFG Eurobank (0.22 percent to 26.84 euros) and telecommunications equipment manufacturer Intracom (2.19 percent to 5.60 euros). The most heavily traded stocks, by value of shares traded, were National Bank (23.86 million euros), OPAP (11.53 million), PPC (9.78 million) and Altec (8.28 million). Of the 329 traded shares, 238 gained, 56 declined and 35 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 189.26 million euros, including 19.03 million in prearranged trades.