ECONOMY

4,300 points recaptured, banks outperform again

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) benchmark index added 89.61 points, or 2.1 percent, to 4,303.77, its highest close in two months. The measure gained 6 percent in the three days of trading held this week. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s biggest companies gained 2.9 percent to 2,287.60 yesterday, as all blue chips advanced except Coca-Cola HBC, which shed 2.7 percent, closing at 28.12 euros. Banks outperformed for a second day, with National surging 6 percent. Titan Cement advanced 3.6 percent. OTE telecom added 1.5 percent to 19.40 euros, gaining for a second day, as the government inched closer to a deal with Deutsche Telekom that would allow Europe’s biggest phone company to buy a stake in OTE and get management control. Marfin Investment Group, the private equity fund whose plans to sell a 20 percent stake in OTE to Deutsche are contingent on the German company reaching an agreement with the government, gained 2.1 percent to 5.80 euros, its third straight rise. Bank of Cyprus gained 3.2 percent to 9.14 euros, its highest close since February 27. The bank plans to sell as much as 566.2 million euros of convertible bonds to expand its business. Turnover climbed to 548.9 million euros, of which 146.3 million was in block trades. (Bloomberg, Kathimerini)