Stocks advance on late buying

Late-session buying helped to push the Athens bourse into positive territory yesterday, as gains in banks offset weaknesses in OTE telecom and betting company OPAP. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index added 0.19 percent to 2,166.86 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index inched ahead 0.38 percent to 1,099.07 points. Banks advanced 3.48 percent. OPAP followed up Friday’s dip of more than 7 percent by falling 4.38 percent yesterday to 18.55 euros after the government last week upped taxes on gaming winnings. Analysts said the development will make OPAP’s games less attractive to punters. OTE, which traded ex-dividend yesterday, dropped 5.22 percent to 11.08 euros. Turnover reached 155 million euros versus 181 million euros in the previous session.