ECONOMY

Alpha, Eurobank lead gains across the board

Greek stocks advanced for a second day, led by Alpha Bank, the country’s third-biggest lender, and EFG Eurobank. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) index climbed 0.6 percent, to 5,121.67 points. The FTSE/ASE 20 index of the country’s largest companies rose 0.7 percent to 2,722.96. The mid-cap and small-cap indices rose 0.98 percent and 0.41 percent respectively. Alpha Bank gained 4 percent, to -24.20. Eurobank, the country’s second-largest lender, added 1.8 percent, to -23.80. ATEbank fell 2.1 percent, to -3.80. Citigroup Inc rated the state-controlled lender to «sell» in new coverage. «We expect [ATEbank] to continue to suffer from low net interest income growth and lack of restructuring initiatives,» the brokerage wrote in a note. Separately, Marfin Analysis cut its price target on the stock to -4.20 from -4.50. Intrakat rose 2.5 percent, to -1.22. The builder of telecommunication systems signed a contract worth -2.2 million with alternative telecoms operator Forthnet. Unibrain gained 6 percent, to -3.54. The computer software maker will buy the Internet services unit of parent Intracom Holdings in a deal valued at 206 million euros to create a new, publicly traded telecommunications company. The Cypriot General Index added 0.7 percent to 5,064.47. (Bloomberg)