Banks lead market up but most shares decline

Stocks gained significantly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange, with banks leading the way. The ASE composite share price index closed at 4,148.44 points, a gain of 43.94 points or 1.07 percent. The FTSE/Athex 20 index of blue chips gained 1.32 percent to close at 2,289.59 points, while mid- and small-caps declined 0.57 percent and 0.90 percent, respectively. The FTSE/Athex International index gained 1.02 percent, closing at 5,794.82 points. Emporiki Bank topped all blue chips on the strength of Thursday’s appointment of a consultant for its eventual privatization, rising 7.48 percent to close at 29.90 euros. Other banks posting significant gains were EFG Eurobank (2.26 percent to 32.62 euros), National Bank (2 percent to 40.90 euros) and Piraeus Bank (1.65 percent to 28.52 euros). Big gainers among the other blue chips included jewelry maker and retailer Folli-Follie (2.92 percent to 24.70 euros), refiner Hellenic Petroleum (2.06 percent to 11.88 euros), mobile telecommunications service provider Cosmote (1.71 percent to 18.98 euros) and bottler Coca-Cola HBC (1.66 percent to 25.68 euros). Out of 318 traded shares, 104 gained, 171 declined and 43 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 404.76 million euros, including 33.44 million in prearranged trades.