Resurgent banks drive index above 4,200 pts

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) benchmark index increased the most in more than a week, adding 66.58 points, or 1.6 percent, to 4,265.62. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s biggest companies gained 1.7 percent to 2,255.56 points, largely on revived interest in banks, which rose 2.3 percent. Intracom Holdings gained 1.2 percent to 2.63 euros, its highest close in more than two months. The group’s phone equipment maker, Intracom Telecom SA, controlled by OAO Sitronics, has signed a 40-million-euro ($62 million) contract to build a backup wireless telecommunications network for the Syrian Wireless Organization. Intralot gained the most in two weeks, adding 5 percent to 11.86 euros. The world’s second-largest gaming services provider won a contract to provide services for the Ohio lottery. Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE) gained 4.1 percent to 10.16 euros, its highest close in three months. Eurobank was up 4.3 percent. Hellenic Exchanges declined the most in a week, shedding 2.5 percent to 14.20 euros. The share price estimate for the operator of the Athens bourse was cut to 17.20 euros from 18.60 euros at National P&K Securities, which said first-quarter results released on Monday «confirm a challenging year ahead.» Turnover totaled 353.2 million euros. (Bloomberg, Kathimerini)