ECONOMY

Banks boost stocks and turnover

The Greek bourse enjoyed significant gains last week, on the back of rumors about likely mergers and acquisitions in the banking sector that mattered more to investors than the negative results issued by listed companies in recent weeks. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index will start the new week today at 1,656.82 points, which is 7.10 percent higher than the 1,547.01-point level of a week earlier. The first half of 2010 was the first time that there were more listed companies suffering losses than those registering gains on the Greek bourse. Yet the market seemed to have already factored that in and focused instead on the possible developments in the market’s steam engine, the banks. The start of September brought about a rise in daily turnover, averaging out to 92.4 million euros last week against 76.2 million euros the week before.