ECONOMY

Rumors help local stocks soar

Unconfirmed reports about acquisitions in the local banking sector concerning ATEbank and Marfin Popular Bank sparked a rally on the Greek bourse yesterday that led to impressive gains for all indices and a considerable rise in daily turnover. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,692.35 points, expanding by 4.13 percent from Monday’s close at 1,625.21 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index grew by 3.12 percent to end up at 801.62 points. The banks’ sectoral index soared 7.48 percent as all banks registered significant gains. ATEbank led the blue chips with a 15.09 percent rise, ahead of Piraeus Bank (up 11.98 percent), Alpha Bank (11.30 percent), Eurobank EFG (10.50 percent), Hellenic Postbank (9.74 percent) and Marfin Popular Bank (6.25 percent). Public Power Corporation remained unchanged. A total of 156 stocks moved up, with Koumbas having a limit-up at 20 percent higher, 40 headed south, as Klonatex shed 14.29 percent, and 52 remained unchanged. Turnover came to 227.3 million euros, up from Monday’s 107.7 million. About 93 percent of the day’s turnover concerned blue chips.