Greek bank stocks spur biggest gains on bailout talks
Greece's benchmark stock index posted the biggest gain in Europe, with lenders leading gains, as policy makers expressed optimism they will conclude talks on a third bailout deal by tomorrow.
The ASE stock index was up 2.1 percent at 5:11 p.m. in Athens, the biggest increase of 18 European indexes tracked by Bloomberg. A gauge of Greek lenders jumped 7.7 percent, after plunging 58 percent last week. Shares of Piraeus Bank SA added 13 percent, the biggest increase in two months. Alpha Bank AE and Eurobank Ergasias SA also gained, rising more than 8 percent. An agreement would allow the Greek parliament to pass new reforms, if required, in the middle of the week and pave the way for a meeting of euro-area finance ministers after that, two people familiar with the discussions said. "Progress has indeed been made and we expect further progress throughout the day and beyond," European Commission spokeswoman Annika Breidthardt said. "A deal can be reached in the month of August, preferably before the 20th of August."