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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-12-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Focused measures needed for Greek economy, FinMin
  • [02] MIG buys 49.9% of German executive jet operator for 15 mln euros
  • [03] Listed firms' profits down 19.6% in Q3
  • [04] Alavanos on correctional system
  • [05] Greek stocks end 2.78% down

  • [01] Focused measures needed for Greek economy, FinMin

    Greece is not facing the intensity of problems linked to the ongoing global financial crisis compared to other countries, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Monday.

    Speaking to reporters during a radio interview, the minister stressed that the Greek economy grew by more than 3.0 pct in the third quarter of 2008, adding that forecasts for economic growth in 2009 are gloomier, but that developments are being closely monitored.

    Alogoskoufis underlined the need for specific measures to support the economy and social groups, while he added that figures change from day to day, week after week, month after month.

    "We must be constantly alert to take the necessary initiatives," he said.

    He said that EU member-states are able to announce a general cut of VAT rates without any permission by the European Commission, but that selective changes of VAT need approval by both the Commission and the ECOFIN Council.

    [02] MIG buys 49.9% of German executive jet operator for 15 mln euros

    Marfin Investment Group on Monday announced the purchase of a 49.99-pct stake in Flight Ambulance International Rent - A - Jet Aktiengesellschaft (FAI), from Axtmann Beteiligungus GmbH, for 15 million euros. As part of the deal, MIG has the right to raise its stake to 51 pct for an additional 2.5 million euros in the next two years.

    FAI is one of the top three airlift companies in Europe and one of the top five in the sector globally.

    It is based in Nuremberg and owns a fleet of seven Lear jets along with privately owned management and maintenance facilities.

    The company expects a turnover of 26 million euros, EBITDA of 6.5 million euros and pre-tax profits of 4.6 million euros this year.

    [03] Listed firms' profits down 19.6% in Q3

    Greek-listed enterprises reported a significant worsening of their results in the third quarter of the year, with negative results by companies in the commercial and industrial sectors pointing to a gloomy outlook for corporate profitability in the coming quarters.

    Two-thirds of listed companies reported losses or lower profits in the January-September period, while a total of 117 companies reported losses in the third quarter of the year.

    Based on financial reports published by 289 listed enterprises, turnover rose by 17.3 pct in the third quarter, while after tax profits fell 19.6 pct. Operating earnings fell 1.4 pct in the nine-month period and were down 14 pct in the third quarter.

    The Wholesale and Retail Commerce sectors reported a 30 percent increase in borrowing, while the IT sector's borrowing was up 77 pct and the Fish Farming Industry's debt rose 17 pct in the third quarter.

    A report by Pegasus Securities said a decline in building activity, record-high fuel prices, strike mobilizations in the countries major ports and public sector enterprises and a negative climate in stock markets were the main factors that negatively affected corporate profitability in the July-September period this year.

    [04] Alavanos on correctional system

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary head Alekos Alavanos on Monday spoke at a one-day seminar organised by the leftist grouping on the state of Greece's correctional system, days after a large-scale hunger strike by thousands of inmates in protest of better prison conditions ended.

    Alavanos also took the opportunity to comment on the ongoing Vatopedi Monastery land exchanges with the state, charging that the current ND government was merely intensifying the loss of public lands that the previous PASOK government had commenced.

    In response to a justice ministry draft law expected to alleviate overcrowding in Greece's prison system, Alavanos said it was insufficient, although it was important that it was heading in the right direction.

    [05] Greek stocks end 2.78% down

    Greek stocks ended significantly lower at the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, following a similar trend on international markets. The composite index dropped 2.78 pct to end at 1,860.27 points, with turnover a low of 90.6 million euros, of which 2.8 million euros were block trades.

    All sectors moved lower, with the Healthcare (5.28 pct), Oils (4.41 pct), Food/Beverage (3.99 pct), Constructions (3.15 pct) and Banks (3.10 pct) suffered the heaviest percentage losses of the day.

    The FTSE 20 index fell 2.82 pct, the FTSE 40 index dropped 2.46 pct and the FTSE 80 index ended 2.22 pct down. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 144 to 61 with another 51 issues unchanged.

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