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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-08-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


ATHENS, GREECE, 13/08/1999 (ANA)


  • Turkish violations reported over northeastern Aegean
  • Bulls run rampant on Athens bourse as new record high set
  • Prices unchanged in secondary bond market trading
  • Rising oil prices effect on inflation rate feared
  • Papariga cites 'serious dangers' for country within market economy
  • Thousands expected at annual Panaghia Soumela pilgrimage
  • Athens prefect demands explanations for department's 'vacation'
  • 35-hour work week at banks examined
  • ICAP report cites 208% increase in 1998 bank profits
  • Weather
  • Foreign exchange


Turkish violations reported over northeastern Aegean

Several Turkish warplanes infringed on Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) regulations and violated Greek national airspace yesterday on seven different occasions.

Specifically, 10 Turkish F-16s and four F-4 warplanes infringed on Athens FIR regulations in the northeastern Aegean, between the islands of Hios and Limnos. Some of the Turkish fighters also violated Greek national airspace before being intercepted by Hellenic Air Force planes on all seven occasions, while in five instances the interception process developed into midday engagement.

According to air force sources, the violations and FIR infringements by the Turkish warplanes were expected.

Bulls run rampant on Athens bourse as new record high set

Equity prices surged to new records yesterday, supported by strong buying interest in blue chip stocks. Dealers said a rally on international markets combined with high liquidity in the domestic market encouraged trading.

The general index ended 2.3 per cent up at 4,696.91 points, its 37th record closing this year. Turnover was 240.277 billion drachmas with 39,023,352 shares changing hands.

The Banks and Industrials sectors out-performed the market ending 2.62 and 2.93 per cent higher, respectively, while the Construction and Leasing sectors suffered losses (down 2.76 and 1.37 per cent, respectively).

Other sector indices ended as follows: Insurance (+1.84 pct), Investment (+3.19 pct), Miscellaneous (+2.95 pct) and Holding (+0.92 pct). The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks dropped 2.71 per cent reflecting pressures in periphera l stocks following moves by market authorities to monitor high volatility stocks.

The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 2.38 per cent up at 2,635.15 points. (Continued on page 4)

Bulls run rampant on Athens bourse as new record high set

Broadly, decliners led advancers by 146 to 138 with another 10 issues unchanged. A total of 22 shares ended at the day's 8 per cent limit up, while another 26 ended at the day's limit down.

Hellenic Petroleum and Hellenic Telecoms (OTE) were the most heavily traded stocks, while Hellenic Petroleum, Hellenic Telecoms and Eurobank led the day's turnover.

National Bank of Greece ended at 22,165 drachmas, Alpha Credit Bank at 21, 650, Commercial Bank at 33,800, Ergobank at 30,400, Titan Cement at 32,290, Hellenic Petroleum at 3,070, Intracom at 22,830, Minoan Lines at 5,820, Panafon at 8,005 and Hellenic Telecoms at 6,700.

Prices unchanged in secondary bond market trading

Despite sellers dominating yesterday's trading in the secondary bond market, prices remained unchanged.

Fifteen year bonds attracted 10 billion of the 21 billion-drachma sales volume, out of 27 billion drachmas worth of total trading.

The benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 6.73-6.74 per cent, with a spread of 183-184 basis points above the respective German bund.

The market appeared to be waiting for the announcement of the latest US monthly inflation figures on Aug. 17, which will indicate the next possible moves of the Federal Reserve on the 24th of the month.

In a three-month deposit auction, the Bank of Greece absorbed additional liquidity of 200 billion drachmas at an average rate of 10.07 per cent, up from 9.91 per cent from the previous auction on July 8. At the central bank's daily fix, there was a small outflow of 75-80 million euros, and the drachma closed at 326.95 from 326.66 in the previous session. The dollar rose to 307.57 from 305.46 a day earlier.

Rising oil prices effect on inflation rate feared

The government is reportedly concerned over the latest increase in international oil prices, expected to push up August inflation figures.

Gasoline prices were 4.5 drachmas per litre up at the pump yesterday, diesel cost two drachmas more per litre, while heating oil rose up 2.7 drachmas per litre.

Papariga cites 'serious dangers' for country within market economy

Communist Party of Greece (KKE) general secretary Aleka Papariga yesterday warned that "serious dangers" will be faced by Greece within the market economy and what she characterised as "policies of 'divide et impera'." Speaking at a gathering on the Ionia n island of Cephallonia, she also claimed that a visit by US President Bill Clinton to Greece will "certify" these dangers, as well as what she called the "give and take" between the Simitis and Ecevit governments.

Commenting on a government spokesman's recent statement that changes in the social security system are not a government priority, she claimed it is proof of what she termed an "anti-popular government".

Thousands expected at annual Panaghia Soumela pilgrimage

Several political and military leaders are expected to join thousands of worshippers, mostly descendants of refugees from Asia Minor's Black Sea coast of Pontos, at the Panaghia Soumela Monastery on Sunday for an annual pilgrimage to celebrate the Dormiti on of the Virgin Mary (Theotokos).

Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis, Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Macedonia-Thrace Minister Yiannis Magriotis, Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas, Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos a nd a main opposition New Democracy (ND) delegation will visit the monastery P located in the foothills of Mount Vermion in Imathia prefecture P to celebrate both the significant Orthodox holiday and Armed Forces Day.

The monastery is named after the original monastery renowned as a historical and cultural centre of Black Sea Greeks, near the once vibrant port of Trapezounta on the Black Sea coast, today's Trabzon.

Athens prefect demands explanations for department's 'vacation'

Athens Prefect Eleni Besbea has asked the heads of the transport ministry's vehicle inspection department in the prefecture to submit written explanations on why they had closed the service to the public until Aug. 16 while claiming to be acting on her in structions.

Ms Besbea paid a surprise visit to the department at the Holargos district bureau on Wednesday after hearing complaints over radio news programmes. She told ANA that a relevant circular did not leave room for any misinterpretation of her instructions, a nd that those responsible had possibly aimed to undermine the prefectural authority or her personally.

35-hour work week at banks examined

Increased business and two new hirings per branch are apparently the initial results at bank branches implementing a pilot 35-hour work week programme.

Deputy Labour Minister Christos Protopapas, a former leader of the bank employees' union, yesterday visited several branches implementing the pilot programme.

Under the 35-hour programme, the first shift begins at 7:45 a.m. and ends at 2:45 p.m., while a second shift begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. He said the programme will be appraised at the end of an eight-month period.

ICAP report cites 208% increase in 1998 bank profits

The ICAP research institute yesterday presented a report on Greece's banking sector, noting the greater than ever consolidation and outstanding profits of 208 per cent on a year-to-year basis for 1998.

Consolidation regarded several buy-outs, mergers and privatisations of several banks throughout the year, actions which continued into 1999.

The report stated that net profits of 21 banks included in the report rose to 349 billion drachmas, compared to 113 billion drachmas in 1997.

The same report stated that deposits rose by 16.5 per cent, loans by 18.1 per cent, assets rose by 8.6 per cent and equity by 33.5 per cent, while the total number of employees rose by 1 per cent.


Fine weather with a drop in temperatures is forecast throughout the country today. Few local clouds in mainland Greece in the afternoon with scattered showers expected in the north. Sunshine in Athens with temperatures between 25-38C. Local cloud in Thessaloniki in the afternoon with temperatures from 22-33C.


Friday's rates (buying)
U.S. dollar          305.109
Pound sterling       490.246
Japanese yen (100)   263.078
French franc          49.444
German mark          165.830
Italian lira (100)    16.751
Irish Punt           411.820
Belgian franc          8.040
Finnish mark          54.549
Dutch guilder        147.176
Danish kr.            43.646
Austrian sch.         23.570
Spanish peseta         1.949
Swedish kr.           36.962
Norwegian kr.         39.398
Swiss franc          202.522
Port. Escudo           1.618
Can. dollar          205.165
Aus. dollar          198.509
Cyprus pound         561.452
Euro                 324.334
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