ECONOMY

Stocks gain ground, led by Intracom

Equities advanced almost 1 percent yesterday, led by strong gains in telecoms equipment maker Intracom. Brokers said there was across-the-board buying as the market gained ground for a third straight session. «Some buying from foreign institutionals, boosted by improved sentiment on foreign markets helped,» said Nikos Galoussis, head of derivatives at Kappa Securities. Intracom gained 2.94 percent to 9.82 euros after it confirmed it had taken a 41-percent stake in the Greek branch of Germany’s Siemens for an undisclosed amount. The benchmark general index gained 0.98 percent to 2,320.81 points, ending the overall week up 102.44 points or 4.6 percent. The FTSE-20 blue chip index gained 0.92 percent to 1,219.20 points. Mid-caps added 1.29 percent and small-caps gained 1.25 percent. Turnover was 112.52 million euros on volume of 22.1 million shares. Winners beat losers 254 to 63 while 44 shares were unchanged on 361 traded. (Reuters) The Latsis group’s oil company Petrola yesterday reported 105-percent pretax profit growth to 7.5 million euros in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2001, despite an 8-percent fall in sales to 245 million euros. There was a 58-percent improvement in refining margins. Petrola’s share rose 4.15 percent to 4.02 euros.