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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 99-02-02

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Van den Broek calls on Ankara to help end long-standing Cyprus issue
  • [02] Gov't denies press reports of Ocalan's presence in Greece
  • [03] Stephanopoulos visit to Austria
  • [04] Simitis-Solana meeting Thursday
  • [05] Tsohatzopoulos confers with Swedish counterpart von Sydow
  • [06] Quake aid to Colombia
  • [07] Albanian parliament delegation in Athens
  • [08] SPD delegation in Athens
  • [09] Meeting at foreign ministry focuses on Euro-court ruling against Ankara
  • [10] Simitis meeting with Papoutsis
  • [11] Hungarian minister in Athens to discuss bilateral transport, communications issues
  • [12] Man accused of murdering his US fiancee ruled sane
  • [13] First of 10 Canadairs arrives in Greece
  • [14] USIS open ho use on Friday
  • [15] EU pilot programmes for refugees
  • [16] Stagira municipal council rejects second TVX gold mine
  • [17] Domestic markets qiet, changes in bond trading launched
  • [18] Stocks hit new high, fuelled by National Bank of Greece stock split
  • [19] Metka to expand in defence, power sectors
  • [20] Aspis Bank shows improved 1998 results
  • [21] Eurodeputy tabled report on EU's tobacco sector
  • [22] Allianz group results
  • [23] Citibank rates
  • [24] Athens Foreign Exchange

  • [01] Van den Broek calls on Ankara to help end long-standing Cyprus issue

    BRUSSELS 02/02/1999 (ANA - Y. Zitouniati)

    European Union Foreign Relations Commissioner Hans van den Broek yesterday called on Turkey to assume its responsibilities and contribute towards a solution to the protracted Cyprus issue.

    He made the statement after a meeting here with Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, calling on Turkey to stop placing obstacles in the EU accession course of Cyprus.

    "I realise that the political problem was not resolved despite the courageous decision by President (Glafcos) Clerides on the S-300 missiles. However, a solution does not depend only on the one side. A positive contribution by the other side is also nec essary," he said.

    Mr. van den Broek described the decision by Mr. Clerides not to deploy the Russian-made missiles system in Cyprus as courageous and important and as a decision toward defusing tension and achieving political settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    He said the decision will strengthen EU ties with Cyprus and especially the continuation of the Republic's accession talks, which opened last year.

    At the end of last year, after two UN resolutions which referred to the need for the reduction of troops and armaments on the island, Mr. Clerides announced his decision not to deploy the S-300 missile system in Cyprus.

    Negotiations are now carried out between Cyprus, Greece and Russia for its deployment in Crete.

    Expressing the EU's appreciation" for the Cypriot president's decision, Mr. van den Broek said the deployment of the S-300 would have disturbed "the EU process that both sides are fully engaged in".

    Referring to the Republic's accession negotiations he said "so far Cyprus has made good progress" and reassured "we will do everything on our side to see to it that this is maintained".

    With regard to EU relations with Turkey, he said efforts for their improvement must continue.

    The EU official also underlined that Ankara must understand that it must not take any actions that will pose problems in efforts to reach a settlement in Cyprus, which has been divided since Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory in 1974.

    On his part, Mr. Kasoulides described their discussion as "useful and productive" and said "what is important for us is that Cyprus' accession course continues as it has done until today."

    Referring to the "common future" of all citizens of Cyprus, Mr. Kasoulides said "it is time for the Turkish Cypriots to accept the proposal to participate in the negotiations with their representatives, so that we can all join the EU".

    Mr. Clerides had proposed that the Turkish Cypriots nominate their own representatives in the Cyprus team negotiating accession, but his proposal was rejected by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Mr. van den Broek said that the effort aimed at achieving the Turkish Cypriots' participation in this process, based on Mr. Clerides' proposal which remains valid, will continue together with the government of Cyprus. He added that efforts to brief the Turkish Cypriots on the issue of Cyprus' accession to the EU will also continue.

    Mr. Kasoulides said the message coming from the meeting is good, not only for his compatriots, but also for the Turkish Cypriots in the event they will wish to utilise it.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Gov't denies press reports of Ocalan's presence in Greece

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    Athens denied yesterday that Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan attempted to enter the country early in the morning.

    The Greek foreign ministry has no idea where fugitive Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan is, diplomatic sources stressed yesterday.

    The sources were referring to reports and widespread speculation that Mr. Ocalan was headed for Athens after being denied permission to land in the Netherlands.

    The sources said there had been no application from the Kurdish leader to enter Greek territory.

    Foreign ministry sources reiterated Athens' position was for condemning terrorism from whichever source, as well as Greece's standing proposal that the Kurdish issue be discussed within the framework of the European Union.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas told reporters at his usual midday press briefing later that there was no truth to the flurry of reports that Mr. Ocalan had landed in Athens and reiterated that there had been no request towards Greek authorities.

    "We do not believe Ocalan coming to Greece would be useful or expedient," Mr. Reppas said.

    He said Greece had taken a leading role in efforts to resolve the Kurdish issue and in the fight for human rights.

    "We have requested the issue be discussed at the European Union," he said.

    Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos also denied reports that Mr. Ocalan was in Athens.

    "I don't think these rumours are true...if they were we would know," he told reporters.

    The head of Athens' airport later explicitly stated that Mr. Ocalan's plane had not touched down in Athens, despite persistent reports to the contrary.

    "There is no issue of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan arriving at Athens international airport and as airport manager and the person responsible for this airport, I declare that there has been no such problem, denying any rumours that exist," Yiannis Haralam bakis told ANA.

    The rumours Mr. Haralmabakis referred to claimed that Mr. Ocalan's plane had landed at Athens and that the Kurdish leader was waiting on the Greek government to grant him entry to the country.

    Reports from the airport, however, said there was no activity - such as increased police presence or security - to justify such a scenario.

    Turkey : ISTANBUL (ANA - A. Kourkoulas) - The Turkish foreign ministry has again asked European countries to apprehend and extradite Mr. Ocalan.

    A statement issued yesterday noted that several European countries, including the Netherlands, Italy and Greece had refused to allow entry to Mr. Ocalan, and repeated reports that he had been sighted in Athens airport.

    "Cross-checked reports said that Ocalan was in Athens," the statement read, adding that the Greek ambassador to Ankara had been called to the foreign ministry, where he denied relevant reports.

    Meanwhile, Turkish PM Bulent Ecevit noted that the reports about Mr. Ocalan's presence in Athens were inaccurate.

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Stephanopoulos visit to Austria

    VIENNA 02/02/1999 (ANA - D. Dimitrakoudis)

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will officially visit Austria between Feb. 15 and 17, it was announced yesterday. The visit is the first by a Greek head of state to the Austrian capital. He will be accom panied by Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and National Economy Deputy Minister Alekos Baltas.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos will hold talks with his Austrian counterpart Thomas Klestil, and Chancellor Viktor Klima, while he will also meet Austrian parliament president Heinz Fischer.

    The visit is in reciprocation to the one paid by Austrian President Rudolf Kirchschleger in 1984, at the invitation of late president Constantine Karamanlis.

    A tentative schedule includes a visit to the National Library of Austria, which has the largest collection of Greek papyri and the third largest in Greek manuscripts, and to the historical ethnic Greek neighbourhood in Vienna, where the Orthodox Cathedr al stands.

    The president will also visit the city of Graz, from where he will return to Athens.

    Athens News Agency

    [04] Simitis-Solana meeting Thursday

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will have a meeting with NATO Secretary General Javier Solana on Thursday, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said yesterday.

    Mr. Reppas said Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos would join the meeting afterwards.

    He made no reference to the focus of the talks.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] Tsohatzopoulos confers with Swedish counterpart von Sydow

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    Greece and Sweden's defence ministers focused on the situation in eastern Europe and the Balkans - with emphasis on Kosovo and the Cyprus issues - during their meeting in Athens yesterday.

    Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and his Swedish counterpart Bjorn von Sydow both expressed concerns about developments in Kosovo, stressing that they favoured a peaceful resolution to the problem.

    Bilateral defence cooperation was also discussed.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Quake aid to Colombia

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    A shipment of humanitarian aid to quake-stricken Colombia left from Patra's port yesterday for a 12-day journey to the South American country, where a 6.0 Richter earthquake struck early last month killing more than 900 people and causing widespread devas tation.

    Ten containers of aid will be sent aboard the "Peggy Dow", which frequently transports shipments of bananas between the Aegean and Colombia.

    Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis yesterday expressed Athens' support for the quake-stricken. He also chaired a meeting of foreign ministry officials, during which it was decided that humanitarian aid, primarily pharmaceuticals, will be sent to Colombia.

    In addition, the town planning and public works ministry will provide 10 stainless steel housing units.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Albanian parliament delegation in Athens

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis held talks with a delegation of the Albanian parliament's foreign affairs committee yesterday.

    "Not a stone, not even a small stone must change position in the Balkans because in this way we will return to the beginning of the century. If our peoples do not realise this, then non-Balkan forces will determine how we will live," Mr. Kaklamanis warned.

    However, Sabri Godo, who headed the Albanian delegation, said NATO must intervene in Kosovo to guarantee a process of consultations which will lead to a referendum by the region's inhabitants on the region's future. He expressed certainty that the initi ative recently undertaken by the "Contact Group" will fail.

    The Albanian MPs reiterated their country's request for Greece's contribution to the effort to harmonise Albanian legislation with clauses contained in the new Albanian constitution.

    Mr. Godo renewed an invitation by Albanian Parliament President Ginousi for Mr. Kaklamanis to pay an official visit to Tirana.

    Earlier, several Greek deputies met with the Albanian delegation.

    Focus of talks between the two delegations were the quality of life for Albanian immigrants in Greece, the Greek ethnic minority in Albania, security issues in the wider region of the Balkans - particularly Kosovo - as well as prospects for closer cooperation between the two countries.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] SPD delegation in Athens

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    A German Social Democrat Party (SPD) delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs Gunther Verheugen will arrive in Athens today and will hold talks with Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    The delegation will also be holding a series of contacts with ruling PASOK party and government cadres.

    After meeting Mr. Simitis, the SPD delegation will meet Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Deputy FM Yiannos Kranidiotis, Deputy National Economy Minister Alekos Baltas, Deputy Labour Minister Christos Protopapas and the PM's adviser, Nikos Themelis, at the foreign ministry. The meeting will focus on the priorities of the German EU presidency and in general foreign policy and employment policy issues, as well as issues included in the "Agenda 2000."

    Afterwards, the delegation will be having a meeting at the offices of PASOK's executive bureau with the party's Secretary Costas Skandalidis, National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Eurodeputy and PASOK's international relations sector secretary Paraskevas Avgerinos and Mr. Kranidiotis, among others.

    Issues to be examined at this meeting are bilateral relations between PASOK and SPD, their cooperation in the framework of the European Socialist Party (ESP) in light of ESP's congress and the Euro-elections in June, as well as relations between Greece and Germany.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] Meeting at foreign ministry focuses on Euro-court ruling against Ankara

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis and Cyprus Prosecutor General Alekos Markides yesterday presided over a meeting at the foreign ministry in Athens on the subject of compensation that a European Court of Human Rights has ordered Turkey to pay to a Greek Cypriot refugee.

    Ankara last June was found guilty of depriving Titina Loizidou of her right to peacefully enjoy her property by denying her access to it, and was ordered to pay more than 450,000 thousand Cyprus pounds, including legal costs.

    Ms Loizidou's property lies in the northern part of Cyprus which Turkey has occupied since 1974.

    The deadline for payment expired last October, without Turkey complying. After yesterday's meeting, Mr. Kranidiotis stated that the Greek government regretted Turkey's continuing non-compliance with the court ruling, and its behaviour in Cyprus.

    "Sooner or later Turkey will be forced to face its responsibilities and decide whether it really wishes to belong to the big family of European democracies which is governed by the principles of the rule of law and respect for human rights, or it will permanently place itself into an orbit of self-isolation and marginalisation," he said.

    Athens News Agency

    [10] Simitis meeting with Papoutsis

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis met yesterday with European Union Commissioner Christos Papoutsis to examine issues related to June's Euroelections and ruling PASOK's spring congress.

    After the meeting, which lasted for one and a half hours, Mr. Papoutsis said the PASOK congress can play a decisive role for leading to a PASOK win in the Euroelections, provided that it boosts party unity.

    According to sources, Mr. Simitis asked the Commissioner to work harder for the elections in both the preparation of the political programme and in supporting the party's campaign by organising tours around the country.

    However, according to the same sources, Mr. Papoutsis brought to the prime minister's attention the issue of the so-called "dispensable party delegates", with Mr. Simitis agreeing to resolve the matter.

    Further, both reportedly agreed that early general elections would have catastrophic repercussions for the country.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] Hungarian minister in Athens to discuss bilateral transport, communications issues

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    Transport and Communications Minister Tassos Mantelis meets in Athens today with his Hungarian counterpart Kalman Katona.

    The two men will discuss bilateral relations in the sectors of transport and communications with a view to improving cooperation and bolstering economic ties.

    Also expected to be discussed are inter-European road and rail network projects and improved road, rail and air and postal and telecommunications links between Greece and Hungary.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] Man accused of murdering his US fiancee ruled sane

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    A Kavala hospital psychiatrist yesterday pronounced a 24-year-old man charged with the murder of his American fiancee as "sane and not suffering from any psychological problems."

    Defence attorneys for Georgios Skiadopoulos, accused of strangling to death and brutally decapitating the body of July-Marie Scully, were expected to submit a statement today to a Kavala magistrate.

    Authorities said Skiadopoulos converted large sums of the woman's money from US dollars into drachmas after the murder, withdrawing several hundred dollars from a joint account.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] First of 10 Canadairs arrives in Greece

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    The first of 10 new fire-fighting aircraft purchased by Greece from Canada yesterday landed in Elefsina.

    The rest of the planes are expected to be delivered by 2001, an order costing US$250 million.

    Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and Public Order Minister Philippos Petsalnikos along with the air force and fire brigade leadership were present at the official ceremony.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos praised the efforts of pilots in combatting forest fires, while he expressed his certainty that more of the aircraft will be operational for upcoming summer season.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] USIS open ho use on Friday

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    The US Information Service (USIS) will hold an open house to demonstrate services of its Information Resource Centre on Friday at 11:30 a.m. (at 22, Massalias St.)

    The Information Resource Centre (IRC) provides current and comprehensive information about the US policies, social and political processes and related subjects.

    IRC resources are intended to meet the needs of government officials, journalists, researchers, scholars and others with professional-level interest in the United States and related subjects.

    Resources available include on-line data base searching, CD-ROM programmes, a collection of documents and standard printed reference materials.

    The information, much of it in electronic format, encompasses: international relations, security, defence and related subjects; economics, trade, development, among others; US social and political processes; federal/state legislation and regulations; en vironmental issues and telecoms issues and policies.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] EU pilot programmes for refugees

    BRUSSELS 02/02/1999 (ANA - Y. Zitouniati)

    The European Commission yesterday adopted 76 pilot programmes for the settlement of refugees in EU member-states, of a total cost of 16.75 million euros.

    The pilot programmes aim at improving refugee, asylum and migrant reception structures, as well as providing repatriation assistance.

    The programmes adopted take into consideration the concerns expressed by member-countries and EU institutional organs over the increasing tide of refugees fleeing into Europe from crisis-ridden regions, such as Kosovo, Albania, Iraq, southeastern Turkey and Somalia.

    The majority of allocated funds, to be given in the form of subsidies to various organisations in EU member-states, regard refugees' voluntary repatriation, as well as education and vocational training.

    Programmes adopted include a number of initiatives applied for by several Greek organisations.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] Stagira municipal council rejects second TVX gold mine

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    The Halkidiki municipality of Stagira-Akanthos yesterday reiterated its opposition to the creation of a second gold mine by the Canadian firm TVX in the Skouries site.

    In a decision yesterday,the town's municipal council said that it agreed to the operation of the existing TVX installations for as long as required.

    However,it said operation of a second mine,which the company had announced in 1997,``would have irreversible condequences on water resources and the area's natural wealth...``

    Athens News Agency Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    Greece has not met obligations for the protection of its wetlands,according to a survey conducted by the Greek Ornithological Association last December.

    Based on survey data, 28 years after the signature of the Ramsar Agreement, the population of aquatic birds in Greek wetlands exhibited a 25 to 50 per cent reduction.

    Athens News Agency

    [17] Domestic markets qiet, changes in bond trading launched

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    Changes to the operation of the secondary bond market were introduced yesterday and five new primary dealers joined the existing group.

    The new dealers are BNP, ABN AMRO, San Paolo Di Torino, Bank of Piraeus and Ergobank.

    Electronic trading in the market was extended to 1700 hours. Turnover was 71 billion drachmas with bond prices fluctuating around five basis points.

    The 15-year bond was trading around 105.40, the previous 10-year bond around 117.30-117.00 and the latest 10-year paper at 102.45.

    The finance ministry is due to auction 12-month treasury bills today.

    Rates dropped in the interbank market in high liquidity from abroad.

    National Bank of Greece quoted an overnight rate of 10 percent.

    Foreign currency trade was light, and the drachma remained high.

    The euro edged up against the drachma at the central bank's daily fix to end at 321.190 from 321.160 in the previous session.

    Athens News Agency

    [18] Stocks hit new high, fuelled by National Bank of Greece stock split

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    Stocks surged to a fifth straight record high yesterday reflecting euphoria by investors over a stock split by National Bank of Greece, the country's largest commercial bank.

    The general index ended 2.65 percent higher at 3,233.11 points. Turnover was 115.887 billion drachmas on 21,014,174 shares traded.

    Early in the session, the index soared beyond 3,270 points, almost 4.0 percent higher, before profit-takers raked in their gains.

    Sector indices scored gains.

    Banks soared 4.01 percent, Insurance surged 5.37 percent, Investment ended 1.35 percent higher, Construction increased 3.19 percent, Industrials rose 1.07 percent, Miscellaneous ended 3.24 percent up and Holding ended 1.11 percent higher. Leasing buck ed the trend to end 2.16 percent down.

    National Bank of Greece's share price jumped 8.0 percent to 21,060 drachmas on the first trading day of new shares resulting from the stock split on volume at 422,000 stocks.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 0.25 percent up, and the FTSE-ASE-20 index for blue chips and heavily traded stocks gained 2.84 percent to end at 2,059,45 points.

    Of 288 shares traded, advances outpaced declines at 187 to 83 with 18 unchanged.

    The most heavily traded stocks were Teletypos, Thessaliki, Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation and Viosol.

    Finishing at the daily 8.0 percent upper volatility limit were Britannia, Xylemboria, National Bank of Greece, Technical Olympic, Despec, Teletypos, Halyvdofylla, Mouriadis and Delta.

    The day's heaviest percentage losers were Elfiko, Tzirakian, Ippotur, Inerga, Anek, Technodomi, European Credit, Hellenic Biscuits, Sato and Development Invest.

    Alpha Credit Bank finished at 33,500 drachmas, Ergobank at 27,290, Titan Cement Co. at 23,115, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,350, Intracom at 15,400, Hellenic Bottling at 10,550, Minoan Lines at 7,450, Panafon at 9,900 and 8, 600 drachmas.

    Athens News Agency

    [19] Metka to expand in defence, power sectors

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    Metka, which plans to become a key player in the defence, mining, and energy sectors, is to hold a stock split and turn its preferred shares into common in the wake of its entry into the Mytilineos Group, also listed on the Athens bourse.

    The Mytilineos Group's chairman, Evangelos Mytilineos, announced yesterday an alliance with Krupp and Mann of Germany in mining operations in the Balkans. Metka's activities would be funded by means of project finance, without resorting to bank loans or share capital increases, Mr. Mytilineos said.

    Metka is seeking to become a player in the European defence industry, working to attain government contracts involving Patriot missiles, tanks and submarines.

    The firm is due next week to sign a construction deal involving Patriots next week.

    Metka's breakthrough into the sector is due to the national defence ministry's decision to have foreign companies carrying out projects to work with domestic firms, Mr. Mytilineos said.

    The firm also is positioning to take advantage of upcoming liberalisation in the electricity sector, already forging a deal with the Public Power Corporation to create a joint venture for the construction of electricity production in the Balkans.

    The firm has a long-term contract with the state corporation until 2005 worth 17 billion drachmas, Mr. Mytilineos said.

    He added that Metka was the only domestic firm to tackle the construction of electricity production stations.

    By the end of 1999, it will have ensured its participation in a powerful consortium to produce electricity, also planning to work with renewable energy.

    Finally, Metka is also interested in an alliance with TVX Hellas, a subsidiary of the Canadian firm, in northern Greece.

    Athens News Agency

    [20] Aspis Bank shows improved 1998 results

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    Aspis Bank yesterday reported a substantial improvement in 1998 results with consolidated net profits of 700 million drachmas, and assets of 88 billion drachmas, up 45 percent from the previous year.

    The parent bank's profits before depreciation and provisions rose to 940 million drachmas from 824 million in 1997, while net pre-tax profits increased to 263 million drachmas from 237 million the previous year. The bank's deposits increased by 45 percent to 73 billion drachmas, while loans totalled 60 billion, a 50 percent rise from 1997.

    Aspis Bank plans to launch five new branches in the first half of 1999, raising its network to 20 branches.

    The bank's board aims to raise by 30 billion drachmas its lending portfolio this year.

    Athens News Agency

    [21] Eurodeputy tabled report on EU's tobacco sector

    BRUSSELS 02/02/1999 (ANA - P. Pantelis)

    New Democracy Eurodeputy Antonis Trakatellis has submitted a report on tobacco in the Europarliament, with which he is attempting to overturn proposals by the Commission on determining subsidies and tobacco quotas over the n ext three years (1999-2001).

    The Eurodeputy said he considers the proposals to be very unfavourable for Greek tobacco growers.

    Mr. Trakatellis pointed out that no increase in subsidisation prices is anticipated for tobacco varieties, as determined since 1995, resulting in the decrease in producers' income continuing.

    He said that it is impossible for Greek producers to replace their production with other varieties in three years. He further said that the proposal for a total transfer to other varieties is leading producers, at least those in Greece, to deadlock since they have planned their production for 1999 and are unable to cover the demands for a change in cultivations both in time and in funds.

    Mr. Trakatellis' report has already been discussed at the European Parliament's agriculture committee and is expected to be ratified soon.

    Athens News Agency

    [22] Allianz group results

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    The Allianz group in Greece announced that in 1998 its turnover amounted to 54.7 billion drachmas, of which 23 billion drachmas concern life insurance policies and 31.7 billion drachmas the general insurance sector.

    The group includes the Allianz, AGF Kosmos, Helvetia and Poseidon companies.

    According to data, the Allianz group, owned by German concerns, holds third place among insurance companies in Greece. The group has a wide network of sales, 135 branch offices employing 3,700 insurance advisers and 570 agencies throughout the country.

    Athens News Agency

    [23] Citibank rates

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    Citibank announced new main interest rates valid for debit and credit accounts in foreign exchange, namely, 8.09 per cent for US dollars, 3.59 per cent for Japanese yen, 8.94 per cent for British pounds sterling, 4.40 per cent for Swiss francs and 6.19 per cent for the euro.
    Athens News Agency

    [24] Athens Foreign Exchange

    Athens 02/02/1999 (ANA)

    Bank of Greece closing rates of: February 1, 1999

    Parities in Drachmas

    Banknotes            Buying  Selling
    US Dollar            279.982 287.474
    Can.Dollar           185.087 189.379
    Australian Dlr       177.469 181.584
    Pound Sterling       460.288 470.960
    Irish Punt           404.564 413.944
    Pound Cyprus         550.441 563.203
    Pound Malta          694.253 723.180
    Turkish pound (100)    0.073   0.076
    French franc          48.573  49.700
    Swiss franc          198.033 202.625
    Belgian franc          7.898   8.082
    German Mark          162.908 166.685
    Finnish Mark          53.588  54.830
    Dutch Guilder        144.584 147.936
    Danish Kr.            42.843  43.836
    Swedish Kr.           35.895  36.727
    Norwegian Kr.         37.234  38.097
    Austrian Sh.          23.155  23.692
    Italian lira (100)    16.455  16.837
    Yen (100)            242.663 248.289
    Spanish Peseta         1.915   1.959
    Port. Escudo           1.589   1.626
    Foreign Exchange     Buying  Selling
    New York             279.982 287.474
    Montreal             185.087 189.379
    Sydney               177.469 181.584
    London               460.288 470.960
    Dublin               404.564 413.944
    Nicosia              550.441 563.203
    Paris                 48.573  49.700
    Zurich               198.033 202.625
    Brussels               7.898   8.082
    Frankfurt            162.908 166.685
    Helsinki              53.588  54.830
    Amsterdam            144.584 147.936
    Copenhagen            42.843  43.836
    Stockholm             35.895  36.727
    Oslo                  37.234  38.097
    Vienna                23.155  23.692
    Milan                 16.455  16.837
    Tokyo                242.663 248.289
    Madrid                 1.915   1.959
    Lisbon                 1.589   1.626
    Athens News Agency

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