ECONOMY

Bank rumors and Wen help blue chips rise

Buying interest in the banking sector was expressed toward the end of yesterday’s bourse session in Athens amid new rumors about developments in this domain. Blue chips and the main index registered growth, although there was a split between overall gaining and losing stocks. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,488.71 points yesterday, expanding by 1.37 percent from last Friday’s close at 1,468.52 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index grew by 1.95 percent to end at 717.46 points. However, the mid-cap FTSE/ATHEX 40 index did not move at all. The greatest gains among blue chips were for the stocks of Alpha Bank (up 7.19 percent), Eurobank EFG (5.14 percent), Piraeus Bank (3.02 percent), National Bank (2.50 percent), the Public Power Corporation (2.04 percent) and Ellaktor (2.03 percent). Hellenic Postbank shed 2.53 percent. There were 81 stocks going up, 82 heading down and 52 staying put. Altec telecom led gainers with a 12.50 percent rise, while Fieratex textiles had the biggest losses (down 16.67 percent). Turnover came to 148.4 million euros, up from a daily average of 106.7 million euros last week. The first hour of trade saw an impressive turnover of 41 million euros, owing to the positive comments on Greece by the Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao, in Athens over the weekend.