Stocks climb 1.72 percent

Greek stocks added 1.72 percent yesterday, regaining the 2,700-point mark, boosted by improved global equity sentiment. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index ended at 2,738.74 points, bringing gains in the last week to 3.42 percent. Banks outperformed, adding 2.71 percent. State-controlled lenders ATEbank and Hellenic Postbank jumped 10.37 percent and 6.60 percent respectively. Press reports said the two banks may be merged as part of plans to create a major lender able to help the government implement state policies, such as pumping more loans into small and medium-sized enterprises. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index advanced 2.14 percent to 1,459.40 points. Turnover reached 299 million euros versus 287 million in the previous session.