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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-05-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou meets Pakistani premier
  • [02] D. Daskalopoulos elected new SEB president
  • [03] Dubai Financial acquires 31.5% equity stake in Marfin

  • [01] Papandreou meets Pakistani premier

    Visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Tuesday met with main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou.

    The talks lasted for roughly one hour. Afterward, Papandreou said they had discussed international affairs, focusing mainly on Iran and developments in the Balkans.

    Papandreou, noting that the two countries were linked by both historical ties and by the large Pakistani community that now lived and worked in Greece, said the meeting had been an opportunity to broach the issue of the Pakistani abductions in Athens and to outline PASOK's position on the procedure that should be followed.

    Asked about Aziz's response, he said that Pakistan's premier had referred to the abductions case and expressed hope that Greek justice would find those responsible.

    PASOK's leader also stressed that there were good future prospects for the further development of Greek-Pakistani ties on an economic and political level.

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    [02] D. Daskalopoulos elected new SEB president

    Dimitris Daskalopoulos on Tuesday was elected president of the Federation of Greek Industries, SEB, succeeding Odysseas Kyriakopoulos who concluded his term.

    Addressing a Federation's general assembly before his election, Daskalopoulos (chairman of Delta Holdings) stressed the need for an expanded role of the Federation to become the most prominent institutional representative of the private sector and urged for the need to become more open. "The Federation of Hellenic Industries judges policies and actions and not parties and governments," Daskalopoulos said.

    He said a new challenge of the Federation was to contribute in the creation of a climate of consensus in the country and underlined that Greek employers must gain the right to be able to speak and to be listened to without prejudice.

    Odysseas Kyriakopoulos, the outgoing president, in his speech referred to the landmark of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games saying their success still allowed the country to re-establish itself in the international scene. Kyriakopoulos said Greece needed a strong and competitive economy and noted that globalisation was a big challenge for European employers. "We expect our leaders to understand that difference between easily regulated problems and others needed to be dealt with effectively to change an existing status. "In this country, in this continent, where everyone philosophized and questioning, the future will be judged by decisions and actions taken by visionaries and brave people," he said.

    Theodore Fessas, FHI's secretary-general, presented a survey on Greece's 1,000 top enterprises, compiled by McKinsey. The survey showed that, despite a difficult competitive environment, there were examples of very successful enterprises which followed consistently different but effective strategies and in particular those which focused on international expansion, while innovative enterprises ensured 30 percent of their revenues from new products.

    The Federation also presented an updated survey, compiled by Boston Consulting Group, on the factors determining economic development in the country and evaluating reform progress. The updated survey highlights progress made in business infrastructure, deregulation of markets, privatizations and public sector enterprises, while it stresses a significant deficit in business competitiveness.

    The survey said Greece remained the most expensive and most bureaucratic country in the EU-15 for business start ups. The country's tax regime, although it was converging with the EU-15, remained non competitive, while progress has been made in the labour market by adopting more flexibility. Low competitiveness was related with the quality of education and insufficient training of human resources.

    The survey recommended 18 actions to maintain economic growth rates above 4.0 percent annually. These included: simplier procedures, privatizations and opening up of competitive markets, lesser state, a gradual coding of legislation, supporting of investments, reducing tax burden on enterprises, transparency, improving a framework on holding companies, more flexibility in labour markets.

    SEB's new presidency includes: Dimitris Daskalopoulos (president), Evlogimenos Euripides (vice-president), Karamouzis Nikos (vice-president), Kyriazis Charis (vice-president), Mitrogiannopoulou Dimitra (vice-president), Spiliopoulos Vassilis (vice-president), Fessas Theodore (vice-president), Lavidas Thanassis (secretary-general), and Tavoularis Yiannis (exchequer).

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    [03] Dubai Financial acquires 31.5% equity stake in Marfin

    Dubai Financial (DF), a subsidiary of the Dubai Investment Group (DIG) - the global investment arm of Dubai Holding - on Tuesday announced that it has acquired a 31.5-percent stake in the Athens-based Marfin Financial Group.

    According to a press release, the Dubai-based investment group has been provided with seats on Marfin's board pending regulatory approval for the share purchase. The CEO of the Dubai Investment Group (DIG), Soud Ba'alawy, will serve as chairman.

    According to a shareholders' agreement between Dubai Financial and Andreas Vgenopoulos, Marfin's vice-chairman, the latter will retain his 6.75-percent stake in Marfin and will continue to oversee the company's business plan, management structure, incentives and employment policies.

    Dubai Financial said it paid 25 Euros per share for its stake in Marfin.

    "I am pleased that the acquisition of the 31.5 percent stake in Marfin has been completed in a spirit of good faith and cooperation with the management of the group. We have major plans to extend the European and global reach of Marfin, which enjoys excellent fundamentals," Ba'alawy said:

    Marfin is listed on the Athens Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of approximately 1.4 billion euros.

    Dubai Financial's portfolio includes Thomas Cook India Ltd. (TCIL), as well as a 68-percent stake in Dubai Bank.

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