ECONOMY

Utilities push index higher

Greek stocks followed the pattern set by international markets in the second week of October, reaching new year-highs and returning to levels unseen for 93 months, since January 2000. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed the week at 5,289.80 points, up 1.75 percent from the previous week’s close of 5,198.80 points. Wednesday’s was the only losing session of the last 11. The strengthening of transaction volume is supporting the index above the 5,270-point level, while there is also a great number of prearranged trades, with several parent companies each day proceeding to moves within their group that will secure them accounting capital values in the year’s last quarter. Among the most important developments of the week was the temporary suspension of trading of Vivartia by demand of the Capital Market Commission, as it realized that Marfin Investment Group announced the drafting of a new business plan the day after the expiration of the public proposal it had made for the acquisition of all Vivartia’s shares, and given the insufficient information offered on the stock and the lack of satisfactory share dispersion. Utilities led the way last week with their sectoral index climbing 6.68 percent, followed by telecommunications (up 4.93 percent) and commerce (4.85 percent). For the second month in a row there was a decline in the portion of foreign institutional investors on the Athens bourse. Their share fell from 52.22 percent in August to 51.80 percent in September. Greeks increased their share from 47.41 percent to 47.81 percent.