ECONOMY

Index almost stable, investors worried over merger

Equities ended virtually unchanged after volatile trade yesterday, with developments in the merger plans of Greece’s two largest banks, National and Alpha, dominating the session but also leaving investors with many more questions than answers. The Athens benchmark general index ended 0.09 percent lower at 2,521.63 points. National Bank eased 0.08 percent to 24.48 euros, after a 3.69-percent slide on Monday, while Alpha trimmed earlier gains of over 2 percent to end 0.43 percent higher at 18.64 euros. National and Alpha said in a joint statement yesterday that their goal remained the creation of a strong Greek bank, but confirmed they had run into difficulties which they were working on. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips slipped 0.07 percent to 1,364.56 points with the bank sector off 0.22 percent. The FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps was off 0.01 percent, to 274.66 points. Small-caps also eased, off 0.04 percent. Turnover was 94.95 million euros on 17.2 million shares traded.Winners beat losers 152 to 140, with 63 stocks unchanged on 355 traded.(Reuters) Minoan sells vessel to France