ECONOMY

Banks keep investors’ buying interest high

Stocks gained yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) for the sixth session in a row, ending on a 65-month high. The ASE composite share price index closed at 4,237.34 points, a gain of 16.06 points or 0.38 percent. The FTSE/Athex 20 index of blue chips gained 0.62 percent to close at 2,334.95 points. Mid-caps gained 0.11 percent and small-caps declined 0.57 percent. The FTSE/Athex International index gained 0.53 percent, closing at 5,912.99 points. Once again, banks were the focus of investor interest: Emporiki gained 3.68 percent to close at 31 euros on news that the state will soon relinquish its remaining stake, while National ended at 42.54 euros, up 1.72 percent, on analysts’ estimates of a big increase in earnings last year. Other blue chips with big gains included electronics retailer Germanos (up 4.16 percent to 18.04 euros), cement producer Titan (2.36 percent to 39 euros) and electricity company PPC (2.15 percent to 19 euros). Out of 303 traded shares, 97 gained, 151 declined and 55 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 436.60 million euros, including 64.34 million in prearranged trades. Among the latter, the most important involved the exchange of a 2.64 percent stake (4.2 million shares) in construction group Hellenic Technodomiki at 7 euros a share.