Stocks rise 5.6 pct for the week

Late-session profit-taking trimmed mid-session gains on the Athens bourse yesterday as investors remained focused on banks. Brokers said that news on Thursday that Piraeus Bank had submitted a 700-million-euro offer to buy stakes in Hellenic Postbank and ATEbank has boosted sentiment on the market and investor appetite for risk. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index advanced 0.26 percent to 1,612.87 points, showing gains of 5.58 percent for the week. Banks gained 1.57 percent yesterday, climbing 14 percent over the last five sessions. National Bank rose 0.73 percent to 10.98 euros and Alpha climbed 1.22 percent to 4.97 euros. Eurobank was among the big winners, jumping 5 percent to 4.82 euros, while Bank of Cyprus rose 3.22 percent to 3.85 euros. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index firmed 0.61 percent to 785.90 points. OTE telecom dropped 3 percent to 6.46 euros and power company PPC eased 0.40 percent to 12.35 euros. Coca-Cola Hellenic retreated 0.76 percent to 18.40 euros. Turnover reached 109.3 million euros, easing from 163 million in the previous session.

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