Banks National, Piraeus, utility PPC lead rebound

Greek stocks outperformed other European markets yesterday, led in turnover by banks National and Piraeus and the Public Power Corporation (PPC). The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) index added 63.36 points, or 1.2 percent, ending the session at 5,309.92 as 42 stocks advanced, 14 fell and four were unchanged. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s largest companies increased 1.3 percent to 2,838.72. The Cypriot General Index rose 1.2 percent to 5,511.95. National Bank climbed 1.6 percent to -47.74. PPC added 1.1 percent to -26.80. HSBC Holdings raised its recommendation for Greece’s largest power company to «neutral’» from «underweight» and lifted its price estimate to -29 from -16. The brokerage cited a friendlier government stance toward the company and an acceleration of internal restructuring. Piraeus Bank gained 0.3 percent to -28.24. Eurobank Securities raised its price estimate for Greece’s fourth-biggest bank to -32.90 from -25. Titan Cement outperformed among blue chips, surging 6.86 percent after recent heavy losses. Viohalco climbed 3.96 percent and Cosmote advanced 3.50 percent. Intralot and ATEbank rose more than 2 percent. OPAP led decliners, shedding 1.06 percent. Turnover totaled -457.21 million. (Bloomberg, Kathimerini)