National leads index 0.20 percent higher

Solid gains in National Bank kept shares in positive territory yesterday as the market digested first-quarter earnings from the country’s largest bank. «Results were at the upper end of market expectations. Even though there was weak net interest income growth, investors focused on bottom-line numbers,» said Thanassis Ipirotis, analyst at Devletoglou Securities. National outperformed adding 1.05 percent to 23.0 euros after reporting a 50.9-percent drop in first-quarter group profit which nevertheless beat market expectations. The benchmark general index firmed 0.20 percent to 2,351.36 points. The bourse’s FTSE-20 blue chip index eased 0.04 percent to 1,237.22 points while telecoms firmed 0.03 percent. Mid-caps rose 0.55 percent and small-caps advanced 0.35 percent. Turnover was 111.20 million euros on volume of 23.3 million shares. Winners beat losers 166 to 132 while 63 shares were unchanged on 361 traded. (Reuters) Tax safari

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