ATHEX, led by National, keeps upward trajectory

Greek stocks advanced for a second day yesterday, led by National Bank, the country’s biggest. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) benchmark index rose 2 percent, to 4,516.81 points as 44 of its 60 constituent stocks advanced and 16 fell. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s largest companies increased 2.2 percent to 2,403.86. National Bank added 2.8 percent, to -42.96. Hellenic Exchanges, the operator of the Athens bourse, gained 12.5 percent, to -22.50 after NYSE Euronext Deputy Chief Executive Officer Jean-Francois Theodore said he’s considering a tie-up with the exchange. OTE, the biggest phone company in Greece, added 4.2 percent, to -22.20 after Naftemporiki newspaper reported the company may reduce its work force further. Metal processor Halcor jumped 11 percent after saying it had bought a controlling stake in copper-pipe maker Sega Bakir for -1 million to expand into Turkey. Michaniki rose 3.3 percent. Greece’s fifth-largest builder said its Egyptian real estate and tourism unit acquired a plot of land near Egypt’s pyramids for -3.6 million, according to a bourse filing. Minoan Lines, Greece’s second-biggest ferry operator, declined 4.2 percent. Star Capital Plc, a Cyprus-based holding company, will sell a 27 percent stake in Minoan. (Bloomberg)ATHEX, led by National,