Across-the-board gains to another year-high

Stocks gained significantly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), in a session marked by strong buying interest following remarks by Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis about accelerating privatizations. The ASE composite share price index closed at 4,057.84 points, a gain of 50.49 points or 1.26 percent and a level last reached in October 2000. It has already gained 10.79 percent this year. The FTSE/Athex 20 index of blue chips gained 1.36 percent to close at 2,216.28 points, while mid- and small-caps added 1.72 percent and 2.15 percent respectively. The FTSE/Athex International index gained 1.18 percent to close at 5,581.90 points. Among blue chips, significant gains were posted by technology holding company Intracom (up 4.62 percent to 7.24 euros), Alpha Bank (3.93 percent to 29.62 euros) and refiner Motor Oil (3.07 percent to 23.50 euros). Four blue chips ended with losses: jewelry-maker and retailer Folli-Follie (down 3.08 percent to 25.20 euros), metals group Viohalco (1.66 percent to 9.48 euros), Duty Free Shops (0.49 percent to 16.24 euros) and electricity company PPC (0.22 percent to 17.80 euros). Out of 326 traded shares, 240 gained, 54 declined and 32 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 444.12 million euros, including 28.9 million in prearranged trades.

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