Blue chips hold own; National Bank drops

Blue chips kept Greek stocks afloat yesterday, as mid-caps and small-caps headed south. Banks were lower, however, while telecommunications ended unchanged. The Athens Exchange general index climbed 0.08 percent to 5,129.24 points as 27 stocks gained, 25 dropped and eight remained unchanged. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s largest companies was virtually unchanged at 2,719.03. The mid-cap and small-cap indices were 0.47 percent and 1.52 percent down respectively. The Cypriot General Index slipped less than 0.1 percent to 5,068.46. Viohalco led blue chip gainers with 2.77 percent, followed by Hellenic Petroleum with 2.46 percent and Hellenic Technodomiki with 2.35 percent. Coca-Cola HBC added 38 cents, or 1 percent, to -40.38, after reporting that third-quarter net income rose 27 percent to -213 million. OPAP gained 0.5 percent to -26.50. Analysts at Goldman Sachs raised their rating for Greece’s gaming monopoly to «buy» from «neutral,» and added the stock to their «conviction buy» list, with a price target of -33. By contrast, National Bank fell 1.7 percent, to -45.02. Greece’s biggest bank has expressed an initial interest in buying at least one financial institution in Ukraine. Turnover totaled -893.59 million, of which -459.66 million was in block trades. (Kathimerini, Bloomberg)