Equities advanced 1.26 percent yesterday, ending above 2,300 points as index heavyweight OTE Telecom outperformed in line with strong European peers. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index ended at 2,319.68 points, its second consecutive positive close. Telecoms added 2.03 percent as OTE Telecom gained 1.58 percent to 17.96 euros. Cellular operators CosmOTE and Panafon gained 2.33 and 3.08 percent respectively. «Panafon and CosmOTE were under considerable selling pressure recently and today caught up with other blue chips,» said Nikos Gallousis, head of derivatives at Kappa Securities. The bourse’s FTSE/ASE-20 blue chip index gained 1.26 percent to 1,224.15 points. Mid-caps gained 0.76 percent and small-caps rose 0.24 percent. Turnover was 88.98 million euros on volume of 2.7 million shares. Winners beat losers 182 to 120 while 55 shares were unchanged on 357 traded. (Reuters) A consortium comprising construction companies Avax, Gnomon and EKTER has signed a 16.75-million-euro contract to upgrade and expand the archaeological museum of Iraklion, Crete. The present building, constructed in phases between 1935 and 1955, is considered a fine example of the modernist movement and one of the largest of its kind at the time. The project should be ready in 1,200 calendar days (3.3 years).