ECONOMY

Index little changed after sharp fluctuations

Mid-caps won investors’ favor in Athens Exchange (ATHEX) trading yesterday, in a session marked by sharp fluctuations. The benchmark ATHEX index closed little changed, losing 0.51, or less than 0.1 percent, to 4,055.08 points, after rising as much as 0.9 percent and dropping 0.6 percent during the session. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s biggest companies increased less than 0.1 percent to 2,114.1 points. The mid- and small-cap indices were up 0.7 percent and 0.1 percent respectively. ATEbank gained 1.5 percent to 2.75 euros, rising for a second day. Reports said the state-controlled lender plans to sell a stake in its insurance unit by the end of 2008. Viohalco advanced 2.7 percent and OTE Telecom was up 1.3 percent. By contrast, Public Power Corporation (PPC) slumped 2.9 percent, Hellenic Postbank dropped 2.8 percent and gaming software firm Intralot was down 2.5 percent. Iaso declined 2.2 percent to 9.78 euros, the lowest in a week. Shares of the hospital operator will be deleted from the Athens bourse’s mid-cap index from June 2, after a rejig of the FTSE Mid 40 Index approved on Tuesday. Turnover totaled 279.5 million euros, of which 48.7 million was in block trades. The Cypriot General Index dropped 0.1 percent to 3,068.89 points. (Kathimerini, Bloomberg)