Bellwether National Bank tops turnover

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) benchmark index rose for a third day, gaining 27.12, or 0.6 percent, to 4,377.15 points on positive sentiment in markets abroad, but did not manage to retain initial gains. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s biggest companies advanced 0.4 percent to 2,278.67. Viohalco climbed 3.5 percent, Intralot advanced 3.2 percent, National Bank, which topped the turnover list, added 2.6 percent, and Motor Oil gained 2 percent. Bank of Cyprus, the island’s biggest lender, fell 20 cents, or 2.1 percent, to -9.32, its lowest level since November 2006. Gaming monopoly OPAP was 2.5 percent lower. Sprider Stores dropped 9 cents, or 2.9 percent, to -2.99, its lowest level since April 2007. The sportswear retailer said profit would reach an estimated -18.6 million this year from -24.5 million in 2007. Piraeus Port Authority increased 24 cents, or 1 percent, to -23.42, its highest level since February 19. Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis said there is «huge interest» among global shipping operators to take over container terminal operations at Greece’s biggest port, which is controlled by the Greek government. Turnover totaled -252.1 million. (Bloomberg, Kathimerini)