ECONOMY

Shares soar on EU-IMF talks

Expectations that an EU-IMF rescue deal is close at hand boosted sentiment on the Athens bourse yesterday, helping to push heavily battered banks 13 percent higher. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index jumped 7.14 percent to 1,829.29 points. Banks were led higher by a 17.65 percent rise in National Bank, the highest daily percentage increase in 20 years, to 12 euros. Eurobank advanced 14.31 percent to 6.07 euros and peer Alpha ended at 5.95 euros, up 10.19 percent. Bank gains rubbed off on blue chips, with the FTSE/ATHEX 20 index soaring 8.83 percent to 903.38 points. OTE telecom moved 5.26 percent higher to 8.21 euros and power company PPC added 5 percent to 11.55 euros. Turnover reached 357.6 million euros versus 363 million previously.