Strong start to week for stocks

Greek stocks leaped higher yesterday, in line with solid gains on European markets, as buyers pushed banks more than 4 percent higher. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index added 2.82 percent to 2,830.78 points, beating gains of between 1 to 1.5 percent on major European bourses. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index advanced 3.26 percent to 1,514.61 points. Banks added 4.15 percent, as Geniki Bank, majority-owned by France’s Societe Generale, soared 25 percent to 1.25 euros. State-controlled ATEbank surged 18.59 percent to 2.36 euros, showing gains of 48 percent over the last week, on talk the lender may be merged with Hellenic Postbank (TT). TT rose 10.31 percent to 5.78 euros. Turnover reached 350.74 million euros versus 228 million in the previous session.