Local stocks climb above 1,500 pts

Greek stocks advanced yesterday, climbing above the 1,500-point mark, as buying interest in banks rubbed off on the broader market. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index added 0.97 percent to end at 1,503.14 points, after climbing 1.37 percent on Monday. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index rose 1.48 percent to 728.06 points, led by bank gains of 2.45 percent. Brokers said news of Greek bond spreads narrowing over German bunds in recent days and ongoing talk of merger activity in banks boosted buying interest in the sector. National Bank, whose rights to a share capital increase ceased trading yesterday, firmed 0.14 percent to 7.39 euros. The subscription period for shareholders wanting to take part in the capital boost ends Monday. Eurobank EFG jumped 5.56 percent to 4.75 euros and peer Alpha gained 3.98 percent to end at 4.96 euros. Marfin Investment Group moved up 4.94 percent to 0.85 euros. OTE telecom also performed strongly, adding 5.29 percent to end at 5.57 euros. On the other hand, OPAP shed 1.17 percent, ending at 11.80 euros, and Hellenic Bottling eased 1.45 percent to 19.02 euros. Turnover rose to 216.2 million euros versus 148 million euros in the previous session.

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