Small fry join ASE blue chip party led by banks

Greek stocks maintained their ascent yesterday on positive reports by foreign investment banks and strong interest by institutional investors. The Athens Stock Exchange general index was 1.04 percent higher at 4,129.93 points. The blue chip FTSE/Athex 20 index added 1.14 percent, the FTSE/Athex Mid-40 advanced 1.78 percent and the FTSE/Athex Small-Cap 80 gained 1.19 percent. All blue chips headed north except Duty Free Shops, which lost 0.91 percent. ATEbank, Piraeus Bank, Cosmote and Hellenic Petroleum all surged more than 2 percent, while Alpha Bank and Emporiki both added 1.50 percent and Motor Oil came in 1.47 percent higher. Raw materials led sectoral indices with gains of 2.55 percent. All banks, including the small, were higher, their index advancing 1.64 percent. Marfin Group shares jumped more than 9 percent yesterday after Credit Suisse initiated coverage of the financial group. Credit Suisse began its coverage with an outperform rating and a target price of 46.20 euros. Egnatia’s both common and preferred stocks were both up 10 percent, while Aspis gained 6.67 percent. Turnover surged to 362.76 million euros, of which 122.3 million was accounted for by banks National, Piraeus and Alpha.