Banks boost Greek equities

Buying in banks helped lift Greek stocks 0.73 percent yesterday in line with positive performances on major European equity markets. The Athens bourse ended at 2,350.31 points after dipping to an intra-session low of 2,306 points. Banks added 1.54 percent. National Bank rose 1.19 percent to end at 21.19 euros while Bank of Cyprus advanced 2.42 percent to 4.66 euros. Piraeus Bank, scheduled to report second-quarter earnings next Wednesday, inched ahead 0.55 percent to 9.15 euros. Analysts expect the lender to report a 55 percent drop in profit to 65 million euros due to increased provisions for nonperforming loans, according to a Bloomberg survey. Turnover reached 109.5 million euros versus 100.8 million euros in the previous session.