|Sunday, 22 May 2022|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 02-12-24
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>December 24, 2002
 ASE unveils drastic reform of trading rules
Athens, 24/12/2002 (ANA)The Athens Stock Exchange on Monday decided a series of significant changes in the way listed shares were traded in the market, signaling a drastic reform in the bourse's trading session.
Under the new plan, listed shares will be divided into two categories, of high and low liquidity using an average weighed liquidity index as a criterion, with the aim to boost the market's transparency and liquidity.
The new liquidity index will reflect the average spread between a share's bid and offer price and the price of each transaction during the session.
The new plan's main targets are:
I. Transparency of financial results: the Capital Markets' Commission is currently drafting legislation to make all financial statements easily accessible and readable to investors.
II. Tax inspection on listed companies: the bourse in cooperation with finance ministry will ensure that all listed companies were inspected by tax authorities on a regular basis.
III. Boosting liquidity in the market: the bourse will implement new trading rules to better reflect market conditions and share price movements. Measuring liquidity based on the spread between a share's bid and offer price and dividing listed shares into two categories, based on their average liquidity.
ASE also said it would create an index of high-speed shares, to include all high liquidity shares with a high ratio of daily transactions to capitalization.
The new rules will be applied from June 1, 2003 while the categorization of listed shares will be based on their liquidity figures in the first four months of next year.
An ASE survey, based on figures taken in the October-November period, showed that 221 listed shares were high liquidity shares (with an average price spread lower than two), while 138 shares were low liquidity shares.
Based on the results of the survey, only 59 percent of total listed shares (or three in five) will be eligible for trading throughout the market's session, while the remaining 41 percent of shares will be traded under stricter time conditions.
 Parliamentarians' incompatibility law valid as of January 1
Athens, 24/12/2002 (ANA)The law on incompatibility between the Parliamentarian's period of office and the parallel exercising of a profession will take effect as of January 1, 2003.
Presenting the relative bill on Monday, Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis determined activities which are compatible with a Parliamentarian's capacity, such as every research, scientific, cultural or artistic activity and participation in humanitarian or other charitable activities.
In addition, providing services for the party to which a Parliamentarian belongs, to his wife or her husband and to blood and in-law relatives of up to the 4th degree.
Non-compliance with the law leads to the loss of the Parliamentarian capacity on which the supreme special court decides. The law also anticipates full pensioning rights for a Parliamentarian at the age of 60, whereas until now it was at the age of 65. Moreover, a Parliamentarian completing a 20-year period is entitled to full pensioning rights regardless of age.
According to Skandalidis, terms concerning incompatibility should also apply to Eurodeputies, despite the fact it is not anticipated by the constitution.
 Appellate court calls Hellenic Red Cross president to appear before court council
Athens, 24/12/2002 (ANA)An Athens appellate tribunal on Monday issued a ruling calling on Hellenic Red Cross President Adreas Martinis and another 32 persons to appear before the council of appellate judges concerning irregular dealings with the foundation's property.
According to the court's ruling, the president and members of Red Cross' managing board violated the charter of the foundation establishing in 1992 another foundation called ''Charitable Foundation Erikos Dynan'', which they funded with real estate of the Red Cross worth 10 billion drachmas.
The ruling stated that the managing board had no right to establish this foundation and provide it with Red Cross assets, in addition the ruling said that Erikos Dynan is a private hospital and is not a charitable and non-profit organization, rather it is for profit and one that can incur damages, since up to now there have been no profits and as a result the Red Cross is selling off real estate assets to cover the loans of Erikos Dynan hospital.
 Christodoulakis meets with US envoy
Athens, 24/12/2002 (ANA)Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis met with US ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller on Monday in Athens, with both sides calling the meeting as a courtesy visit.
According to reports, the US envoy invited the minister to America in the early part of 2003 for a meeting with his American counterpart.
 Palestinian Diplomatic Mission criticizes Bethlehem wall
Athens, 24/12/2002 (ANA)The Palestinian Diplomatic Mission in Athens on Monday criticized the plan for a wall to be built around the area of Rachel's Tomb, at the entrance to Bethlehem, by the Israeli military.
An announcement by the Mission said the plan was a ''flagrant violation of international law and international treaties'' and added that the wall eight meters high and three kilometers long the Israeli military intends to build will isolate the area from the remaining city of Bethlehem, violating the right of free access for the faithful to places of worship in Bethlehem.
The Mission also appealed to the Greek government ''for the prevention of this criminal plan and the consolidation of the peace process in the region.''
 Greek public spending to rise 13 percent next year
Athens, 24/12/2002 (ANA)Greece's public spending will rise by 13 percent in 2003 to total 8.9 billion euros, as envisaged in the government's next year budget, approved by parliament late on Sunday.
European Union Structural Funds will cover 2.8 billion euros with the remaining 6.1 billion euros to be covered by national funds.
The Greek government's public spending program envisages earmarking 2.1 billion euros on railway and other transport network projects, 1.3 billion euros on Olympic Games' projects, 1.6 billion euros on regional projects and 1.2 billion euros on education and vocational training programs.
 Fuel price hikes due to international crude price increases
Athens, 24/12/2002 (ANA)Gasoline prices increased by 6 per cent and heating oil by 8 per cent over the past 10 days, due to the developments in inter-national prices, thus unleaded gasoline prices rose to 75 cents, regular gasoline prices rose to 80 cents per litter and the average price of heating oil rose to 35 cents per litter.
Along with fuels, vegetable prices also rose in some cases by 10.8 per cent. In fact, cauliflower prices rose by 10.8 per cent, cabbage prices rose by 5.9 per cent, eggplant by 7.9 per cent and peppers by 9.1 per cent. The increases were registered due to bad weather conditions.
 Albanian ministries to cooperate in new air terminal
TIRANA 24/12/2002 (ANA)Albania's finance and transport ministries have decided to jointly activate processes for the planning, building, financing, handling and maintenance, in accordance with the BBOT system (Build-Own-Operate-Transter) of a new passenger terminal, as well as supplementary infrastructure services works at Rinas-Mother Teresa airport in Tirana.
The Albanian government intends to give the contractor exploitation for 30 years and requests the submission of relevant documents by interested parties before the final selection process. Tenders should be submitted by March 3, 2003 and 16.00 hours.
 Greek stocks plunge 1.33 percent on Monday
Athens, 24/12/2002 (ANA)Greek stocks plunged to new multi-year lows in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday.
The general index ended 1.33 percent lower at 1,767.88 points, with turnover a low 74.3 million euros.
All sector indices suffered losses, led by the IT Solution (-6.06 percent), Textile (-4.91 percent), Publication (-3.73 percent), Insurance (-3.26 percent) and Holding (-2.79 percent).
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks fell 1.05 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index ended 1.84 percent lower and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index plunged 2.15 percent.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 269 to 54 with another 27 issues unchanged.
The most heavily traded stocks in value were Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, Pouliadis, Petzetakis, Euro-bank and Themeliodomi
Derivatives Market Close: Turnover at 104.0 mln euros Monday
Equity Index Futures:
Day's Market Turnover: 35.59 mln euros
Bond Market Close: Buyers outstrip sellers on Monday
Greek Benchmark 10-Year Bond
 IOC president predicts ''excellent'' Games in Athens
Athens, 24/12/2002 (ANA)International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge on Monday predicted the organizing of ''excellent'' Games in Athens in 2004, on condition that the preparations will continue with the current pace, according to a CNA dispatch from Brussels.
In an interview with the Belgian RTBF channel for the ''Week End Sportif'', Rogge said that initial delays in preparations have been covered due to increased effectiveness.
''If our friends the Greeks continue with the same pace, we will have excellent Olympic Games,'' he said, adding that in the event this does not happen the Games will still take place but they will not be as good.
He stressed, however, that he does not foresee the second scenario as a real possibility.
''There is no alternative scenario for the Olympic Games. They will take place in Athens and they will begin on Aug. 13,'' he concluded.
 Greek mountaineer to place Athens 2004 flag at South Pole
Athens, 24/12/2002 (ANA)Greek mountaineer Nikos Mangitsis departs from Athens in the coming days with the Land of Fire as his destination and from there to the Antarctic and the conquest of the South Pole where he will place the flag of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
The 33-year-old mountaineer from Volos, central Greece, five months ago (August 1) had placed the Athens 2004 flag at the highest peak in Europe, at Elbrus (altitude 5,642 meters) in the Caucasus.
This time, he will attempt a triple mission: the conquest of the South Pole, and climbing to the highest peak of the Antarctic (Vinson 5,129 meters) and the highest peak of the Andies (Aconcagua 6,960 meters), which is the highest peak on the American continent.
The mission, which will last about 60 days (it is expected to be completed in mid February), is held under the auspices of the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee (ATHOC).
 Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to honor Greece's EU presidency with Strauss work
VIENNA 24/12/2002 (ANA/D. Dimitrakoudis)Johan Strauss' ''Polka of the Greeks'' will be included in the traditional New Year concert by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
This relatively unknown work which Strauss composed in 1856, will be performed here by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in honor of Greece which undertakes the rotating six-month presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2003.
The Orchestra will also honor the Austrian city of Gratz which will be the ''Cultural Capital of Europe'' in 2003.
 Contraband cigarettes found aboard N. Korean-flagged vessel
Athens, 24/12/2002 (ANA)The coast guard intercepted a North Korean-flagged freighter early Monday morning reportedly carrying some 3,500 cases of contraband cigarettes.
The vessel, identified as the “Nina II”, was spotted and stopped as it sailed off the western Cyclades island of Kythnos. Authorities later led the vessel, manned by six Ukrainian crewmembers, to the island of Syros. The contraband cargo was confiscated while all six crewmembers are being held pending their appearance before a local prosecutor.
 President Clerides determined to continue peace talks
LONDON 24/12/2002 (CNA/ANA)Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides is determined that peace talks on Cyprus must continue with a view to pursue a just and viable settlement by February 28, government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou has said.
Speaking to London Greek Radio (LGR) on Monday, Papapetrou said that after Sunday's statements by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, President Clerides is not very optimistic.
In an interview with Turkish daily ''MILLIYET'' Denktash said he objects to the territorial adjustments suggested in a UN peace plan, he opposes the proposed system for the presidency of the state of Cyprus and does not favor the return of Greek Cypriot refugees to their homes, in the areas of the Republic occupied by Turkey for the past 28 years, which are destined to be returned to Greek Cypriot administration, under the UN plan.
Denktash also said that if there is no agreement by February 28 he would bring a new proposal to the EU, suggesting that the 15-nation bloc signs an ''agreement'' with the Turkish Cypriot regime, which no state but Turkey recognizes, to enable the self-styled regime to join the EU the same time as Turkey.
Referring to a proposed visit to Cyprus by Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Papapetrou said that ''it will offer a good chance to plan the next moves of the Greek Cypriot side.''
Papapetrou said that Simitis had expressed his wish to visit Cyprus a long time ago and said that the Greek premier ''is most welcomed.''
''It will be a chance for Cyprus to express to Mr. Simitis and to Greece its gratitude for the major help towards our accession to the EU,'' he added.
Simitis told a press conference during the EU summit earlier this month that he intends to visit the island in April next year, as president of the European Council (Greece assumes the EU six monthly rotating presidency on January 1).
Replying to questions in relation to February's presidential elections, bearing in mind Simitis' remarks on the matter, Papapetrou said that Simitis believes that it would be detrimental for the Greek Cypriots to send the message that they are now engaged in the elections and not in the peace process to find a negotiated settlement.
''That is why I hope that political parties will show the necessary responsibility and avoid sending such a message,'' Papapetrou added.
Simitis had said he has nothing to do with the elections in Cyprus but called for careful thought.