No banks in top picks

Proton Research has placed construction firm Ellaktor, cooler maker Frigoglass, betting company OPAP, OTE telecom and Terna Energy on its top stock picks list for the year. In a report published on Monday, the brokerage said it recommends companies with proven restructuring and cost-cutting capabilities, geographical diversification, healthy balance sheets and sustainable and visible cash flow. «We have refrained from including a banking stock in our top picks as we expect developments at the European Union level that may bring in radical changes,» Proton Research said in the report, referring to initiatives from Brussels aimed at solving the eurozone debt crisis. The Athens-based brokerage’s top picks have an outperform rating, which means the brokerage expects the stocks to perform better than the Athens bourse’s benchmark general index by at least 7 percent.