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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-06-22

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek energy sector to change drastically by 2010
  • [02] PASOK leader holds talks with Cyprus FM
  • [03] Bank of Cyprus submits bid for 100pct acquisition of Emporiki

  • [01] Greek energy sector to change drastically by 2010

    The energy sector in Greece is expected to change drastically by 2010 as measures and policies introduced by the government could lead to one million Greek households using natural gas, at least three new private electricity production units projected to be included in the country's electricity grid and a total of 3,000 MW of energy by renewable energy sources added to the system, Nikos Stephanou, secretary-general at Development ministry said on Thursday.

    Addressing an 8th Athens Forum of Energy Community in Southeastern Europe, Stephanou said Greece would see its position in the global energy map upgraded in the future through completion of a Greek-Turkish natural gas pipeline (expected in early 2007), a Greek-Italian natural gas pipeline and a new electricity interconnection line between Greece and Turkey (expected in the second half of 2007). The Greek official stressed that a second electricity power line with FYROM would be completed by the end of the year.

    The Athens Forum is the first to be held after the signing of an Energy Community treaty last October in Athens. Government officials from nine countries (Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, UNMIK, Bulgaria, Romania, FYROM and Bosnia-Herzegovina) have signed the treaty, while five EU member-states (Greece, Austria, Italy, Hungary and Slovenia) have also signed the treaty.

    The Energy Community aims to create a single energy market in the wider Balkan market and its interconnection -at a later stage- with the EU's energy market.

    [02] PASOK leader holds talks with Cyprus FM

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou held talks on Thursday with newly-appointed Cyprus Foreign Minister George Lillikas.

    "We have stated that the course of Turkey towards the European Union is in our national interest, but what is a precondition is for Turkey to respond to its own obligations which the EU itself has set for each of its candidates and, among them are good neighbourliness, respect for international law and as regards Cyprus, the will for a solution to the question of Cyprus, in accordance with international law and the resolutions of the UN," Papandreou said after the meeting.

    The Cypriot foreign minister said on his part "our intention and our effort is indeed, on the one hand, to support the course of Turkey towards the EU and on the other, however, Turkey must respond positively and must implement in practice the commitments it has voluntarily assumed towards the EU and, consequently, towards the Republic of Cyprus and if and provided it responds positively our support will continue. If it has and maintains the negative stance it is presenting today then our support for this course must in no way be considered a foregone conclusion. A solution to the issue of Cyprus and the reunification of Cyprus and not partitioning remains the target."

    Lillikas expressed his gratitude for the solidarity the people of Cyprus have for their struggle for the reunification of Cyprus from the entire Greek people and the political forces of Greece and stressed that Papandreou, being the president of the Socialist International, can help ongoing efforts, at this stage in particular, through the Socialist International's podium and the possibilities that it provides for him, since there are quite a few socialist governments in the EU.

    [03] Bank of Cyprus submits bid for 100pct acquisition of Emporiki

    The Bank of Cyprus on Thursday formally submitted a bid for a 100 percent acquisition of Athens-listed Emporiki Bank. A bid for a 100 percent acquistion has also been submitted recently by France's Credit Agricole.

    The public offer, which will not require a capital increase, offers 6 euros in cash and 3.25 shares in Bank of Cyprus stock per each Emporiki Bank share, with 40 percent set as the minimum percentage for validity of the public offer.

    Regarding the part of the transaction to be effected through new shares in the bank, an extraordinary meeting of the Bank of Cyprus shareholders will be called next month to decide on the approved increase in the bank's share capital and annul the preferential rights of the existing shares.

    Bank of Cyprus Group president Vassilis Rologis said the bid submitted was believed to be "attractive" for its shareholders, as it gave them the ability to "invest in the creation of an important Greek banking organisation", adding that substantial advantages would result for the shareholders, customers and employees.

    Credit Agricole, a strategic ally of Emporiki since 2000, on June 13 submitted a bid for the purchase of Emporiki Bank at 23.5 euros per share, valuing the Greek bank at 3.1 billion euros.

    The French bank's board of directors on 9 June, unanimously voted in favour of the public bid to buy 100 percent in Emporiki Bank.

    Credit Agricole said its bid was the largest foreign investment in Greece. The acceptance period for the bid will last from end-June to early August 2006, with more information expected after the approval of an information bulletin by the bank.

    The price offered by Credit Agricole is 0.3 pct higher than Emporiki Bank's closing share price on June 9 (23.44 euros), 0.6 percent higher compared with the weekly average market price of 23.36 euros and and 17.9 pct higher compared with the average price from January 1, 2004. The price is 50 percent higher from the current P/E ratio of the four largest Greek banks for the period 2006-2007.

    Commenting on Credit Agricole's bid for Emporiki Bank, Greek Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said it was a positive development and stressed that the government would examine this bid, as any other bid in the framework of Greek law, adding that the government was open to all other bids that would be forthcoming.

    Offers for the acquisition of state-owned Emporiki Bank will be accepted until the end of July.

    Appointed to evaluate bids is the government's consultant in the tender, Citigroup.


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