Index ends higher despite profit-taking

Shares ended slightly firmer yesterday after late-session buying, with Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling outperforming after Schroder Salomon Smith Barney upped its price target for the stock. The Athens benchmark general index gained 0.15 percent to 2,405.57 points after spending most of the session in the red. Brokers said there were expectations for a correction, as the market gained ground for the fourth straight session, but selective buying perked up the general index. «Buyers came out at the lows and this is when we saw the most active trading,» said Costas Zareifopoulos, analyst at Pentedekas Securities. The banking index slipped 0.21 percent. while the bourse’s FTSE/ASE-20 blue chip index added 0.14 percent to 1,266.75 points. Mid-caps lost 0.15 percent and small-caps eased 0.10 percent. Turnover was 120.94 million euros on volume of 25.6 million shares. Losers beat winners 188 to 119, while 54 shares were unchanged on 361 traded. (Reuters) The European Investment Bank, the European Union’s long-term credit institution, has not yet decided on providing funds for the construction of the Thessaloniki metro and will not do so until the consortium of commercial banks that will participate in the funding is set up. The single-line project has faced several delays since it was first announced, in the early 1990s.