National and Eurobank lead the index rebound

Greek stocks advanced for the first time in seven days, led by National Bank of Greece, the country’s biggest bank. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) benchmark index added 0.2 percent, to 4,533.32 points, as 35 of its 60 constituent shares gained, 20 fell and five ended unchanged. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s largest companies rose 0.4 percent to 2,406.68. National Bank leapt 2.4 percent and EFG Eurobank, the country’s second-biggest bank, gained 1 percent. Among other blue chips, Mytilineos climbed 2.75 percent, and Hellenic Technodomiki added 1.58 percent. By contrast, Public Power Corporation slumped 4.49 percent, Marfin Popular Bank shed 2.63 percent and OTE slid 1.79 percent. Among the lower capitalizations, Forthnet, Greece’s second-biggest provider of Web services, added 2.5 percent. The company’s main shareholders are in talks with an international investor to sell a »significant» minority stake, Forthnet wrote in a filing to ATHEX. Malta Telecom, or Maltacom, may pay as much as -11.50 a share to buy a 20 percent stake in Forthnet, the Euro2day website reported. J&P-Avax added 0.7 percent. Greece’s second-biggest builder signed a -35.6 million contract to build roads on the island of Crete. Turnover totaled -558.8 million. (Bloomberg)