ECONOMY

Banks help stocks clear 1,600 pts

The Athens bourse posted solid gains yesterday, advancing beyond the 1,600-point mark, as buying in banks rubbed off on the broader market. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index added 2.69 percent to 1,613.41 points, outperforming major European peers, which had a mixed session. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index gained 3.09 percent to end at 792.01 points. Banks outperformed, with gains of 3.81 percent. National Bank leaped 5.71 percent to 10.68 euros, while Eurobank EFG, the country’s second-largest lender, ended at 5.29 euros, up 4.13 percent. Hellenic Postbank (TT) bucked the trend, as it fell 3.34 percent to 4.63 euros, trimming gains in the last three months to 67 percent. Betting company OPAP advanced 3.76 percent to 11.88 euros and Coca-Cola Hellenic rose 3.05 percent to 19.27 euros. Construction group Ellaktor jumped 1.72 percent to 2.95 euros, despite seeing its price target cut by Piraeus Securities. The brokerage cut its price target on Ellaktor to 5.60 euros from 6.30 euros previously, citing a slightly lower valuation of Ellaktor’s construction and concession activities. Turnover reached 105.3 million euros versus 110 million in the previous session.