ECONOMY

Euphoria lifts index above 1,500 points

Stocks rallied yesterday on the local bourse in keeping with the general euphoria in Europe thanks to good news about Ireland and on the healthy rise of OTE telecom and Hellenic Postbank. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,502.83 points yesterday, rising 2.60 percent from Wednesday’s close at 1,464.68 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index expanded by 2.85 percent to end at 712.36 points. OTE reached a five-month high of 6.87 euros, with a daily rise of 9.92 percent on the back of rumors about government plans to sell a 10 percent stake in the telecom organization. Hellenic Postbank fared even better on the day, with 13.59 percent growth, while National Bank gained 4.06 percent. Bank of Cyprus and lottery operator OPAP were on the losing side, shedding 0.67 percent and 0.31 percent respectively. In total, 113 stocks moved up, 47 went down and 48 remained unchanged. Altec led those rising with 20 percent growth, while Atti-Kat posted the biggest loss, with a 12.50 percent drop. Turnover came to 98.7 million euros, up from Wednesday’s 81.8 million.