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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-02-09
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Petrola-Athens Bourse-IPO09/02/2001 19:48:35
Petrola Hellas, an oil refining company that belongs to the Latsis energy, banking and shipping group, is to hold an initial public offer (IPO) on February 20-23 for entry into the Athens Stock Exchange's main market.
The company wants to sell 21,535,500 common shares, of which 20,510,000 are destined for the IPO and the remaining 1,025,500 for privte placement.
The sale price of stock will be determined in bookbuilding involving institutional investors taking part in the IPO.
The IPO's coordinating lead underwriter is EFG Eurobank Ergasias, also a member of the Latsis Group; and the main underwriters are Alpha Finance and National Bank of Greece. The IPO consultant is EFG Eurobank Ergasias.
 Uncle Stathis-Yugoslav Peas09/02/2001 19:37:05
The Uncle Stathis frozen vegetable producer, which is listed on the Athens bourse, has not sold any peas from Yugoslavia in the Greek market, the firm's parent, General Foodstuffs, said in a statement on Friday.
The statement from the management of General Foodstuffs, which aimed to address consumer fears of possible radiation in produce from Yugoslavia, was also signed by the firm's 500 employees and more than 2,000 associate farmers.
It added that all the company's vegetables were safe for consumption.
 Greece - Bulgaria - Mihailova visit09/02/2001 19:01:15
Visiting Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nadezhda Mihailova was received here on Friday by Greek main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis, with talks focusing squarely on the paramount issue of stability in the Balkans.
On his part, the ND leader expressed concern over the latest tension in southern Serbia, an area targeted recently by Albanian separatist gangs operating out of a demilitarised zone between Serbia proper and UN-administered Kosovo.
According to reports, the Bulgarian FM received assurances from Karamanlis of over his partys continued support for Sofias EU and NATO prospects, something the Greek government also favours vigorously.
 Gov't-Airport Tax-Decline09/02/2001 18:57:06
The government is to lower its airport modernisation tax, known as the "spatosimo", in order to make Greek airports more competitive for tourism, the national economy ministry said in a statement on Friday.
Tour operators and travel agents have complained that the tax coupled with high costs at Athens new international airport, due to open in March, will deter business.
The new, lower airport tax will be set at 12 euros for passengers flying to European destinations, and 22 euros for destinations elsewhere, the statement said.
The reduction is to be included as an addition to a government bill on real estate tax.
The cut will result in a loss of around 15 billion drachmas annually to state revenues, but aid the government's drive to lower inflation, the statement added.
 Ideal-Intrasoft/E-commerce09/02/2001 18:45:43
Ideal is to launch an electronic department store on a website to be named myShops.gr, using software by Intrasoft, a member of the infotech and telecoms Intracom Group, Ideal said in a statement on Friday.
The move, which will allow small and medium sized enterprises to sell their wares through the internet at low cost, is part of an alliance between the two Athens-quoted firms that began in summer 2000, the statement said.
A presentation of myShops.gr will be held at the Comdex trade fair on February 15-18, it added.
 Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday09/02/2001 18:25:40
Monday's buying rates
U.S. dollar 366.358
German mark 172.829
French franc 051.531
Pound sterling 529.649
Irish punt 429.202
Belgian franc 008.379
Luxembourg franc 008.379
Dutch guilder 153.389
Italian lira (100) 017.457
Austrian schilling 024.565
Danish kroner 45.304
Swedish kroner 37.931
Finnish mark 056.852
Spanish peseta 002.032
Portuguese escudo 001.686
Japanese yen (100) 312.127
Swiss franc 220.236
Norwegian kroner 41.295
Cyprus pound 583.296
Canadian dollar 242.647
Australian dollar 196.874
 Weather Forecast-Saturday09/02/2001 17:46:03
Scattered cloud is forecast throughout Greece on Saturday, turning to rain in the Ionian, on the mainland, in the Cyclades and in Crete. Storms are expected in the west, south and centre. Winds south-southeasterly, moderate to strong, turning very strong at sea. In the north, temperatures will range from 5C to 14C; in the Ionian and remaining mainland from 7C to 17C; and in the Aegean islands from 9C to 19C. Light cloud and showers in Athens, with temperatures between 9C and 16C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 8C to 13C.
 ASE-close09/02/2001 16:03:30
Equity prices ended the week mixed to higher on the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday, as buying interest for medium capitalisation stocks counterbalanced selling pressure on bank shares.
The general index ended 0.39 percent higher at 3,169.71 points, off the day's highs of 3,185.07, with turnover an improved 128.52 million euros, or 43.79 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.11 percent higher at 1,845.25 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index jumped 1.34 percent to 336.51 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks rose 0.69 percent to 255.39 points.
 Dion - archaeological find - ancient hotel09/02/2001 15:55:38
Archaeologists working on digs in Dion, Pieria claim to have discovered an unusual building that may have been the Roman-era equivalent of a luxury hotel.
The discovery was announced at the 14th Archaeological Symposium in Thessaloniki on Friday by Professor Dimitris Pantermalis, who has headed the excavations at Dion for the past 32 years.
Dated at around the 2nd century AD, the building is thought to be either a luxury hotel for state officials of the Roman Empire or else a Praetor's residence.
According to the professor, this is the first discovery of a building that retains all its original fixtures and is accompanied by a complete list of its equipment, so that its purpose and use is fully understood.
 Greece - Cyprus - FMs meeting09/02/2001 15:54:28
Foreign Minister George Papandreou and his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Cassoulides met in Athens on Friday to discuss progress in a solution of the Cyprus problem and Cyprus' course to joining the European Union.
In statements after the two-hour meeting, which they said formed part of regular consultations between Athens and Nicosia to coordinate strategy, both men urged Turkey to support the UN-sponsored Cyprus proximity talks in accordance with the decisions of the EU summit at Helsinki and the EU-Turkey partnership agreement.
The Greek foreign minister also announced that he would be making a return visit to Nicosia on March 11-13.
Papandreou noted that developments on a European level were rapid and that this should, sooner or later, "act as a catalyst for the solution of the Cyprus problem."
Cassoulides concurred with him that the situation regarding the Cyprus problem could change "from one minute to the next" and underlined that the leader of the Turkish-Cypriot regime, Rauf Denktash, should take part in the next round of proximity talks and continue the process interrupted last November.
He also pointed out that Turkey was committed to supporting the talks under paragraph 9 of the Helsinki Summit conclusions and on the basis of the EU-Turkey partnership agreement.
When asked why Athens and Nicosia did not protest at the stance of the Turkish-Cypriot side, Cassoulides said that the goal at present was for the talks to continue.
"We reserve the right, if Denktash continues to refuse up until the time when the UN Secretary-General's report is expected, to ask that responsibilities be attributed for the impasse."
Meanwhile, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides is due to leave for Athens on Friday afternoon, the Cyprus News Agency reported, and will arrive in the Greek capital at 5:30 p.m.
British base territorial waters
The Cypriot minister also responded to questions regarding the territorial waters of British bases on the island, by saying that the issue should never have been raised in public and that these were "not matters open to public discussion."
Cassoulides questioned the High Commission's motives in making such an issue public and expressed hope that it was not an attempt to change the status quo on Cyprus as determined by the treaties of 1960.
 Panafon-Vodafone-Albania-GSM license09/02/2001 14:35:15
Panafon-Vodafone, a member of Vodafone International Holdings, won an international tender for the sale of a second GSM wireless license in Albania, offering a bid of 38 million US dollars.
The tended was held on Thursday and the license is under approval by the country's telecommunications authorities.
Fintur Holdings and Rumeli Telecom Albania also participated in the tender.
Nikos Avgerinos, international business activities' manager in Panafon-Vodafone, said the move was a first step towards implementing a long-term strategy aiming to expand in the Balkans.
Avgerinos said that the company's expertise in the Greek and international telecommunications market ensured the rapid completion of the project offering significant benefits both to its customers and shareholders.
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