Stock index climbing, gains 17.86 pct in 2007

Greek stocks rose for a third day on New Year’s Eve, led by Public Power Corporation (PPC), pushing the total gains of the Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index to 17.86 percent for 2007, the fifth year of ascent. The index advanced 0.5 percent, to 5,178.83 as 39 of its constituent stocks rose, 13 fell and eight were unchanged. The gauge has almost tripled in value since January 2003. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 Index of the country’s largest companies gained 0.4 percent to 2,752.48. The mid-cap and small-cap indices gained 0.9 and 1.0 percent, respectively. PPC added 3.15 percent, to -36. Its share price gained 88 percent in 2007, making it the best performing stock among Greece’s 20 biggest companies. The share price surged after the government allowed the state-controlled company to increase the prices it charges customers for the electricity it produces. OPAP, the country’s betting monopoly, advanced 1.56 percent, to -27.42. Motor Oil was up 1.15 percent, whereas Hellenic Technodomiki shed 2.39 percent and Intralot was 1.17 percent down. Nireus Aquacultures gained 3.90 percent, to -2.88. The fish farm company sold its confectionery unit for -7.6 million. ATHEX closed earlier, at 3 p.m. local time, for the New Year holiday. (Kathimerini, Bloomberg)