ECONOMY

Blue chips drive index above 4,000 pts again

The benchmark Athens Exchange (ATHEX) index yesterday climbed 77.92 points, or 2 percent, to 4,063.89, its highest level in a month. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s biggest companies rose 2.6 percent to 2,114.03 points. EFG Eurobank advanced 1.1 percent to 19.46 euros, rising for a fifth day. Greece’s second-biggest lender by assets may acquire a Russian bank to gain entry to one of the fastest-growing markets for financial services, website Capital.gr reported. Lambrakis Press added 1.6 percent to 3.86 euros, its highest close in two years. Victor Restis, owner of Greece’s fifth-largest shipping company, increased his stake in Lambrakis, the country’s biggest publisher, to more than 10 percent. Marfin Investment Group rose 5.6 percent to 4.90 euros, gaining for the first time this week. The government of Dubai increased its holding in Greece’s biggest buyout fund. Terna advanced for a sixth day, adding 6.2 percent to 7.60 euros. The Greek construction company controlled by GEK Group of Cos, said it is holding preliminary talks with businesses including Belgium’s Electrabel SA to find a partner for its power-plant unit Heron SA. Bank of Cyprus outperformed, soaring 10.7 percent. Turnover topped 382.6 million euros. (Bloomberg)