News of a possible mega-merger deal between National Bank and Alpha Bank brought euphoria in the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday and pushed the composite index of the market above the 1,700 level to new year highs. The index jumped 3.16 pct to end at 1,715.13 points, for a net gain of 5.75 pct in the week. Turnover also rose to 192.174 million euros. Market authorities suspended trading in both banks’ shares. The Big Cap index jumped 4.35 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 3.41 pct higher and the Small Cap index rose 3.72 pct.

Hellenic Postbank (19.77 pct), Eurobank (16.89 pct), Piraeus Bank (15.43 pct) and ATEbank (10.59 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocksm, while OPAP (1.84 pct0 and Coca-Cola 3E (1.05 pct) were top losers. The Financial Services (8.77 pct), Health (7.91 pct) and Banks (7.12 pct) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Travel (1.75 pct) and Food (0.99 pct) suffered losses.

Broadly, advancers led decliners by 133 to 45 with another 51 issues unchanged. Hellenic Postbank (19.77 pct), Dias (18.52 pct) and Eurobank (16.89 pct) were top gainers, while Ilyda (15.09 pct), Compucoin (12.5 pct) and Tzirakian (9.09 pct) were top losers.

Sector indices ended as follows:

Insurance:

+3.19%

Industrials:

+4.46%

Commercial:

+3.08%

Construction:

+2.54%

Media:

+4.53%

Oil & Gas:

+2.46%

Personal & Household:

+3.69%

Raw Materials:

+6.06%

Travel & Leisure:

-1.75%

Technology:

+0.49%

Telecoms:

+2.37%

Banks:

+7.12%

Food & Beverages:

-0.99%

Health:

+7.91%

Utilities:

+1.52%

Chemicals:

+1.72%

Financial Services:

+8.77%

The stocks with the highest turnover were Piraeus Bank, National Bank, Marfin Popular Bank and Eurobank.

Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index

closed in euros as follows:

Alpha Bank:

4.79

ATEbank:

0.94

Public Power Corp (PPC):

12.88

HBC Coca Cola:

20.70

Hellenic Petroleum:

7.67

National Bank of Greece:

7.57

EFG Eurobank Ergasias:

5.26

OPAP:

16.00

OTE:

7.77

Bank of Piraeus:

1.87

Titan:

16.00