Stocks climb as Hellenic Petroleum rallies

Gains of more than 7 percent in Hellenic Petroleum led the Athens Stock Exchange higher yesterday on hopes for a positive outcome to the sale of a 23-percent stake in Greece’s largest refinery. Brokers said the market discounted a generous premium being given for the government-held stake in Hellenic Petroleum. Hellenic Petroleum gained 7.52 percent to 6.58 euros. The bid – by Russia’s Lukoil Group and Greece’s Latsis group – was announced after the close of trading and was worth 7.5 euros per share, a 13.98-percent premium on yesterday’s close. Latsis-owned Petrola jumped 8.46 percent to 4.36 euros. The benchmark general index gained 1.62 percent to 2,389.52 points. The bourse’s FTSE/ASE-20 blue chip index added 1.69 percent. Mid-caps added 1.27 percent and small-caps, 1.61 percent. Turnover was 161.18 million euros on 33.5 million shares traded. Winners beat losers 291 to 46, with 30 shares unchanged on 367 traded. (Combined reports)