Press report triggers steep bourse rise

The benchmark index of the Greek bourse yesterday climbed to its highest level in the past month, above the 1,500-point mark, thanks to strong interest mostly in banking stocks. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,507.40 points, expanding 4.46 percent from Tuesday’s close at 1,443 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index grew 4.80 percent to end at 704.70 points. The rise was triggered by a report in a German newspaper regarding a Greek debt-restructuring plan, which was later refuted by both Athens and Berlin. The banks’ sectoral index soared 5.81 percent. All blue chips except one posted gains, led by Eurobank EFG (up 7.16 percent), Hellenic Postbank (7.02 percent), Alpha Bank (6.87 percent), Bank of Cyprus (6.72 percent) and National Bank (6.01 percent). Only toy retailer Jumbo lost ground, giving up 0.18 percent. In total, 141 stocks moved up, 35 went down and 52 remained unchanged. Alapis led the gainers with growth of 21.05 percent, while Elbisco Holdings posted the biggest loss with a 15.56 percent decline. Turnover came to 123.1 million euros, up from 89 million euros on Tuesday.