Stocks surged on Monday as buyers took the upper hand in the Athens Stock Exchange, encouraged by a decision reached in an EU Summit last week offering lower interest and more time for Greece to repay its 110-billion-euros loan.

Market sentiment was also boosted by expectations of a speeding up of privatizations and renewed scenarios over bank mergers. Buying activity focused on bank shares. The composite index of the market jumped 5.15 pct to end at 1,662.38 points, surpassing the 1,600 level after 11 sessions, while turnover soared to 239.867 million euros. The Big Cap index jumped 6.24 pct, the Mid Cap index ended 3.49 pct and the Small Cap index rose 5.22 pct.

Hellenic Postbank (11.73 pct), National Bank (10.12 pct), MIG (10 pct), Eurobank (9.83 pct) and ATEbank (7.69 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks.

The Banks (8.71 pct), Financial Services (8.55 pct) and Raw Materials (5.85 pct) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day, while only the Insurance sector ended lower (1.59 pct).

Broadly, advancers overwhelmingly led decliners by 156 to 24 with another 39 issues unchanged. Sanyo Hellas (18.18 pct), Intrakat (14.42 pct), Livanis (13.43 pct) were top gainers, while Allatini Ceramics (16.22 pct), Attikat (14.29 pct) and Tegopoulos (12.9 pct) were top losers.

Sector indices ended as follows:

Insurance:

-1.59%

Industrials:

+3.55%

Commercial:

+0.04%

Construction:

+2.29%

Media:

+5.41%

Oil & Gas:

+3.67%

Personal & Household:

+2.87%

Raw Materials:

+5.85%

Travel & Leisure:

+3.62%

Technology:

+5.02%

Telecoms:

+5.14%

Banks:

+8.71%

Food & Beverages:

+0.78%

Health:

+3.42%

Utilities:

+5.60%

Chemicals:

+4.81%

Financial Services:

+8.55%

The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Alpha Bank, OPAP and OTE.

Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index

closed in euros as follows:

Alpha Bank:

5.25

ATEbank:

0.84

Public Power Corp (PPC):

15.52

HBC Coca Cola:

20.23

Hellenic Petroleum:

7.67

National Bank of Greece:

7.18

EFG Eurobank Ergasias:

5.14

OPAP:

16.20

OTE:

8.18

Bank of Piraeus:

1.59

Titan:

17.64