ECONOMY

Banks lead rally over yet another barrier

Greek stocks, buoyed by news of the major deal between Marfin Investment Group and Vivartia, along with particularly positive sentiment on other European bourses, broke through another barrier to a new seven-year high. Blue chips, especially banks led the rally for a second straight day. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 5,104.23 points, posting a rise of 1.66 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index gained 1.72 percent to close at 2,722.15 points. The FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 was up 1.88 percent and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index climbed 0.22 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX International index added 1.70 percent. Intralot outperformed among blue chips, surging 4.30 percent, Bank of Cyprus ascended 3.65 percent, Coca-Cola HBC climbed 3.31 percent, Cosmote added 3.20 percent, Viohalco advanced 2.50 percent, Public Power Corporation rose 2.06 percent, Eurobank gained 1.95 percent, and National Bank rose to a new historic high of -45.14, adding 1.90 percent. Only three of the 20 blue chips nudged south, banks ATE, Postal Savings and Emporiki. The Marfin-Vivartia deal especially favored other food companies, such as Kri-Kri and Evrofarma. Turnover totaled -556.36 million, of which -43.44 million corresponded to block trades. National Bank accounted for -125.65 million of turnover.