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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-09-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Balance of payments-Deficit
  • [02] Symposium-Greek-Turkish relations
  • [03] Weather Forecast-Saturday
  • [04] Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday
  • [05] Greece-debt auction
  • [06] Winbank-six month report
  • [07] Greece-energy saving measures
  • [08] Greece-new tax bill
  • [09] ASE-close

  • [01] Balance of payments-Deficit

    22/09/2000 20:40:55

    The current account deficit rose to US$4.4 billion during the first half of the year, compared to US$2.6 billion during the corresponding period in 1999, according to data published by the Bank of Greece.

    The trade deficit rose to US$10.8 billion, during the first half of the year, compared to US$8.3 billion during the same period last year, the report added.

    The report of the bank stressed that the increase was mainly due to the crude oil price increase as Greece spent more than US$2.6 billion for crude, during the first half of the year, compared to US$924 million during the corresponding period of 1999.

    On a positive note, the balance of financial transactions surplus rose to US$5 billion, compared to US$1.7 billion, during the same period last year.

    At the end of August the foreign currency assets of Greece were US$ 15.4 billion.

    [02] Symposium-Greek-Turkish relations

    22/09/2000 19:46:40

    The Aegean Sea is becoming a bridge between Greece and Turkey, a friendly sea for peoples inhabiting its coastline, "we should stop preparing for a war which will never happen," was the consensus of participants at the 1st Greek-Turkish symposium on Friday

    The symposium entitled "The course and prospects of Greek-Turkish relations after Helsinki? begun Zappeion Mansionl in Athens on Thursday.

    Foreign Ministry European Affairs Secretary General Ilias Plaskovitis said Greece is maintaining an authentic and non-fictitious support for Turkey's accession course towards the EU, in which it has invested many hopes.

    [03] Weather Forecast-Saturday

    22/09/2000 18:18:22

    Scattered cloud is forecast in most parts of the country on Saturday with the northeast likely to see showers or storms. Winds northerly, moderate to strong, turning very strong at sea. Temperatures in the north will range from 14C to 27C; in the Ionian from 17C to 28C; and in the rest of the country from 18C to 32C. Mostly sunny in Athens, with temperatures between 20C and 31C. Partly cloudy in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 17C to 27C.

    [04] Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday

    22/09/2000 18:18:16

    Indicative rates released by the central bank for the next working day.

    Mondays rates (buying)

    Euro 336.467

    U.S. dollar 389.866

    German mark 172.033

    French franc 051.294

    Pound sterling 565.261

    Irish punt 427.225

    Belgian franc 008.341

    Luxembourg franc 008.341

    Dutch guilder 152.682

    Italian lira (100) 017.377

    Austrian schilling 024.452

    Danish kroner 045.096

    Swedish kroner 040.057

    Finnish mark 056.590

    Spanish peseta 002.023

    Portuguese escudo 001.678

    Japanese yen (100) 364.074

    Swiss franc 221.677

    Norwegian kroner 042.112

    Cyprus pound 589.228

    Canadian dollar 261.352

    Australian dollar 214.555

    [05] Greece-debt auction

    22/09/2000 16:36:54

    Greece's Public Debt Management Organisation announced on Friday it will auction three issues of state bills, in paperless form, worth 90 billion drachmas next Tuesday, September 26.

    The auction includes: a 12-month bill worth 40 billion drachmas, a six-month bill worth 25 billion and a three-month bill worth 25 billion drachmas.

    Settlement date was set Friday, 29 September. The organisation will pay a commission of 0.45 percent, 0.25 percent and 0.15 percent for the three issues, respectively.

    [06] Winbank-six month report

    22/09/2000 16:27:06

    Winbank, Bank of Piraeus' electronic bank, on Friday reported that its customer base totalled 6,000 and monthly growth rates of 35 percent in the first six months of operation.

    Through its website, customers and visitors have access to all services offered by the bank (win-internet, win-mobile, win-phone, win-atm) and its new services in electronic commerce.

    [07] Greece-energy saving measures

    22/09/2000 16:20:44

    The Greek government on Friday presented a package of 10 energy saving measures in the wake of a surge in international oil prices.

    Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis, announcing the measures, said the Greek and the European economy should be prepared to face a possibility of high oil prices for many more months.

    He did not rule out a decision to impose a ceiling on fuel prices, although he said that the cooperation between the ministry, refineries, oil distribution companies and petrol stations, was "very good up to now".

    Christodoulakis said he did not expect the Greek market to experience any fuel supply problems because of an anticipated strike by lorry drivers in the country.

    The measures included: an information campaign for citizens, a more efficient use of energy in public buildings ahead of the winter, investing 25 billion drachmas in the next six months to promote projects for saving and co-producing energy, and incentives to promote the creation of Energy Saving Companies.

    The plan also envisages subsidising the use of non-fossil fuels in electricity and changes in the pricing policy of Public Power Corporation.

    [08] Greece-new tax bill

    22/09/2000 15:57:56

    The Greek government will submit a new tax draft bill in parliament early next month, national economy ministry sources said on Friday.

    The new tax bill, implementing the government's pre-election pledges for corporate and income tax cuts, will envisage raising the ceiling in the tax-free income, reducing the highest tax scale factor and gradually lowering corporate taxes for companies not listed on the stock market.

    The new tax bill was discussed on Friday during a meeting between National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and Finance Deputy Minister Apostolos Fotiadis.

    According to sources, the meeting decided not to change the taxation in car ownership.

    [09] ASE-close

    22/09/2000 15:47:27

    Equity prices rebounded strongly on Friday after a two-day decline on the Athens Stock Exchange, with the market winning a battle to stay above the 4,000 level in the short-term.

    Blue chip stocks, particularly in the banks sector, attracted heavy demand led by Eurobank, Alpha Bank and National Bank, while Hellenic Telecoms' shares ended lower in heavy trade.

    Traders said a fall in international oil prices and in the US dollar rate combined with an improved climate in international markets, also helped sentiment.

    The general index ended 1.24 percent higher at 4,090.89 points, off the day's lows of 3,972.43 points. It ended the week with a net loss of 2.70 percent. Turnover was a heavy 204.53 billion drachmas for a weekly average turnover of 124.896 billion, down from 159.364 billion in the previous week.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 1.55 percent higher at 2,328.85 points and the FTSE/ASE 40 index rose 0.45 percent to 534.60 points.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 0.67 percent up, at 626.91 points.


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