ECONOMY

Banks lead bourse in fresh rise

The Greek bourse got off to a positive start this week, thanks to reports about a possible extension to Greece’s borrowing period, while fresh rumors about upcoming developments in the local banking sector gave stocks an additional boost. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,548.70 points yesterday, expanding 1.32 percent from last Friday’s close at 1,528.48 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index grew 1.85 percent to end up at 756.96 points. Most banks benefited significantly from the favorable climate, with ATEbank gaining 4.40 percent, Eurobank EFG adding 4.27 percent, Alpha Bank expanding 4.08 percent and National Bank rising 3.87 percent to end the day at 8.05 euros. This was the first time after 12 sessions that National rose above 8 euros at the close. On the losing side, Public Power Corporation shed 1.60 percent and Bank of Cyprus dropped 1.08 percent. A total of 99 stocks went up, 68 headed down and 44 remained unchanged. Ionian Hotels led the gainers with growth of 11.11 percent, while ferry operator ANEK Lines posted the biggest losses (down 11.54 percent). Turnover came to 85.3 million euros, up from just under 80 million on Friday.