NBG leads euphoric return to blue chips

National Bank of Greece (NBG) was the driving force behind a rebound of Greek stocks yesterday which reflected investors’ satisfaction with its first-half results. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index was 1.35 percent higher at 3,868.62 points, amid a neutral climate in other European markets. NBG, which announced a 65 percent rise in net group profit, accounted for 125.69 million euros of the bourse’s total turnover of 362.99 million. All capitalizations gained. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index advanced 1.57 percent, while mid-caps gained 1.23 percent and small-caps edged 0.17 percent higher. Among blue chips, Viohalco outperformed by surging 6.41 percent higher; Folli Follie advanced 4.40 percent; the Public Power Corporation added 2.53 percent; OPAP was 2.44 percent higher, and Titan gained 2.37 percent. In contrast, Emporiki declined 1.79 percent and Hellenic Petroleum slipped 0.78 percent. All but two sectoral indices headed north, led by health (4.67 percent) and industrial products and services (3.15 percent). Banks gained 1.77 percent. Construction was up 1.08 percent after news of an agreement between competing firms on the Maliakos Gulf road project.