ECONOMY

Foreign investors drive market to another high

Stocks gained yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), setting a five-year high for the fourth consecutive session. According to analysts, the rally is being driven by foreign investors’ orders, especially for bank stocks. Ten listings, including EFG Eurobank, betting company OPAP and Piraeus Port Authority, reached all-time highs. The ASE composite share price index closed at 4,170.89 points, a gain of 52.61 points or 1.28 percent. The FTSE/Athex 20 index of blue chips gained 1.45 percent to close at 2,278.18 points, while mid-caps and small-caps gained 0.77 percent and 0.44 percent respectively. The FTSE/Athex International index gained 1.39 percent to close at 5,758.28 points. Several blue chips made significant gains, among them Piraeus Bank (up 6.14 percent to 21.08 euros), EFG Eurobank (3.23 percent to 34.52 euros), Emporiki Bank (2.71 percent to 28.80 euros) and betting firm OPAP (1.97 percent to 33.06 euros). Of 329 traded shares, 185 gained, 104 declined and 40 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 428.83 million euros, including 25.4 million in prearranged trades, of which the most important were the transfer of an 8 percent stake in Grigoris Snacks (1,809,740 shares) at 1.10 euros per share and a 1.57 percent stake in aluminium firm ELVAL (1,950,000 shares) at 3.76 euros per share.