Blue chips lift index above 4,200 pts again

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) benchmark index gained for a third day on Wednesday, adding 92.20 points, or 2.2 percent, to 4,214.16, as foreign institutionals renewed interest in blue chips, especially banks. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s biggest companies increased 2.8 percent to 2,223.85 points. Bellwether National Bank surged 5 percent and construction firm Hellenic Technodomiki climbed 4.4 percent. Banks Marfin Popular and Piraeus added 4 percent and 3.5 percent respectively. OTE telecom gained 2.8 percent to close at -19.12, the highest close in three weeks. «Significant progress» has been made in talks between Greece and Deutsche Telekom about selling a stake in Greece’s largest phone company, according to an e-mailed statement from the Finance Ministry. Eurobank Properties added 2.8 percent to -8.18, its biggest one-day gain since March 26. Greece’s biggest real estate investment trust said after the close of trade yesterday that first-quarter net income increased 23 percent to -12.8 million on higher rental income. Frigoglass advanced 1.6 percent to -22.36, its highest close since February 14. A total of 65,621 new shares of the supplier of custom-made beverage coolers began trading. Turnover topped -364.8 million. ATHEX was closed yesterday due to the May Day holiday. (Bloomberg, Kathimerini)