ECONOMY

Good financial results whet investors’ appetite

Stocks gained yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) for the fourth session in a row, boosted by listed firms’ good results for 2005. The ASE composite share price index closed at 4,181.93 points, a gain of 33.15 points or 0.80 percent. During the session, it went as high as 4,201.11 points. The FTSE/Athex 20 index of blue chips gained 0.87 percent to close at 2,289.75 points, while mid-caps and small-caps gained 1.11 and 1.61 percent respectively. The FTSE/Athex International index gained 1 percent, closing at 5,801.13 points. Talk of possible mergers and acquisitions involving the smaller Greek banks, sparked investor interest: The highest gains were made by Egnatia (up 7.07 percent) and Egnatia (6.10 percent). Three big banks reached 52-week highs: Alpha (30.70 euros), ATEbank (6.02 euros) and Piraeus (22.18 euros). Other blue chip gainers included refiners Hellenic Petroleum (up 2.59 percent to 12.68 euros) and Motor Oil (1.76 percent to 22 euros), jewelry-maker and retailer Folli-Follie (1.69 percent to 25.22 euros) and mobile telecommunications service provider Cosmote (1.65 percent to 19.76 euros). Of 324 traded shares, 203 gained, 80 declined and 41 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 387.34 million euros, including 15.9 million in prearranged trades.