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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-01-09

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] ADEX closing report
  • [02] Greek bond maret closing report
  • [03] Piraeus Bank announces 370-mln-euro share capital increase plan
  • [04] Gov't on new com't for economy, Greek-Turkish issues
  • [05] Gov't, Russian Amb. discuss natgas
  • [06] Greece assumes OSCE chair
  • [07] Greek stocks end 1.11% down

  • [01] ADEX closing report

    Greek futures contract prices ended with a discount in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Friday, with turnover shrinking further to 34.325 million euros. The March contract on the FTSE 20 index was traded at a discount of 1.37 pct with volume of 5,377 contracts worth 26.542 million euros and 21,915 open positions in the market.

    Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 11,330 contracts worth 7.605 million euros with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (2,031), followed by Eurobank (555), PPC (421), GEK (758), Alpha Bank (1,127), Marfin Popular Bank (1,796) and Mytilineos (1,089).

    [02] Greek bond maret closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market jumped to 500 million euros on Friday, of which 95 million euros were buy orders and the remaining 405 million were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond (July 20, 2018) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 155 million euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German bonds was 214 basis points, with the Greek bond yielding 5.32 pct and the German Bund 3.18 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates fell further. The 12-month Euribor rate was 2.83 pct, the six-month rate 2.76 pct, the three-month 2.69 pct and the one-month rate 2.41 pct.

    [03] Piraeus Bank announces 370-mln-euro share capital increase plan

    Piraeus Bank on Friday said an extraordinary general shareholders' meeting, expected to discuss a share capital increase plan worth 370 million euros, will be held on Jan. 23.

    Under the plan, Piraeus Bank will issue 77,568,134 prefered stock worth 4.77 euros each, which will be purchased by the Greek state under a government-sponsored plan to boost liquidity in the economy and to deal with the impact from an international financial crisis.

    [04] Gov't on new com't for economy, Greek-Turkish issues

    The government spokesman on Friday referred to the role of a newly established inter-ministerial committee on economic policy, which held its first meeting earlier in the day, chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. Spokesman Evangelos Antonaros clarified that the new committee's responsibility is to systematically monitor and coordinate the government's policy in the sectors of the economy, finance and development. Asked whether there would be changes in the economic policy, Antonaros said that the global economic crisis in progress, unprecedented for the post-war period, is in the process of unfolding and that the PM has stated that the government will adjust its policies based on new developments. He also stated that since the beginning of its term in office, the government follows an economic policy that has produced tangible and concrete results. "These results have become visible to the Greek people through the reduction of deficit and by keeping unemployment under control," he added, pointing out that the government has proved its sensitivities through the adoption of measures in support of the most vulnerable social groups. "The economic potential is specific and the government is engaged in the best possible distribution of existing resources in a fair and effective manner for the benefit of the people," he concluded. Referring to the Greek-Turkish relations, Antonaros said the government has expressed its stance clearly over the latest developments in the Aegean through Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, who characterized the recent Turkish actions as unacceptable, in violation of international law and contravening the effort to improve bilateral relations. He also pointed out that Bakoyannis gave instructions for the necessary demarches. Antonaros also referred to the statement made by Defense Minister Evangelos Meimarakis, according to which Turkey's behavior is not cool-headed and is unbecoming a candidate EU state, adding that the Greek armed forces will protect the country's sovereign rights. "Greece will not allow anyone to question its national and sovereign rights," Antonaros said. Responding to a press question on whether the government will use the television footage showing Turkish aircraft flying over Farmakonissi, Antonaros said all evidence is being properly assessed. Finally, in reference to the new government post assigned to MP Constantinos Gioulekas, Antonaros clarified that he will be deputy interior minister responsible for mass media.

    [05] Gov't, Russian Amb. discuss natgas

    New Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis on Friday met in Athens with Russian Ambassador to Greece Andrey Vdovin, with the issue of natural gas supply expectedly dominating talks.

    "For Greece, our first priority is our energy adequacy. We do not face any problem. We are cooperating closely with DE.PA (the natgas utility in Greece) and, as you can understand, my first task at this ministry was to speak with the DE.PA managing director on the issue of natural gas adequacy," said Hatzidakis, who transferred from the transport & communications ministry during this week's Cabinet reshuffle.

    [06] Greece assumes OSCE chair

    The unique opportunity offered to Greece to take over the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for 2009 was underlined by the head of Greece's permanent mission to the OSCE headquarters in Vienna, Amb. Mara Marinaki. Marinaki referred to current OSCE issues and missions and the imminent address Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis will deliver on Jan. 15 to outline the chairmanship's programme and priorities. The Greek envoy underlined that Greece supports consensus in decision-making, the respect of international law and the non-negotiable principle of territorial integrity, pointing out that OSCE is the second largest international organization after the United Nations, with 56 members. She also referred to Greece's lengthy experience, as a NATO and EU member, over the last 60 and 30 years, respectively, and pointed out that it can contribute greatly to the settlement of ongoing disputes, stressing that the country has been participating in the process that led to the creation of the OSCE since its inception, roughly<font size="3" face="Times New Roman Greek"> 34 years ago. Amb. Marinaki considers that progress can be made in the issues of Nagorno-Karabakh and Transdniestria. Regarding Georgia, she stated that the OSCE is involved in efforts to reach a settlement for the benefit of all. On the OSCE mission to Georgia, she stated that it is in a closing phase after its mandate was not renewed by Dec. 31, 2008, but that it had not closed up shot yet. Its role has been valuable and forms are explored to further an OSCE presence in Georgia. Concerning other OSCE missions, Marinaki added that "Greece also intends to strengthen the organisation's presence in the western Balkans and to upgrade its role in the region." Greece took over the 2009 OSCE chairmanship on Jan. 1 from Finland and at the end of the year it will be passed on to Kazakhstan, the first country east of Vienna to chair the organization's rotating presidency.

    Caption: The new chairperson of the OSCE, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis (R), and Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb, address the media during a joint press conference at the closing session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) ministerial council in Helsinki on 05 December 2008, as Finland's year-long tenure at the helm of the OSCE ended. ANA-MPA/ EPA/MARKKU OJALA

    [07] Greek stocks end 1.11% down

    Greek stocks ended lower in the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday, as sellers took the upper hand in the market. The composite index fell 1.11 pct to end at 1,892.29 points with turnover at 126.1 million euros, of which 3.2 million euros were block trades.

    Most sectors moved lower, with the Travel (1.93 pct), Food/Beverage (1.92 pct) and Chemicals (1.83 pct) suffering the heaviest percentage losses of the day, while Healthcare (4.61 pct), Oil (1.60 pct) and Technology (0.90 pct) scored gains.

    The FTSE 20 index fell 1.49 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.62 pct up and the FTSE 80 index eased 0.06 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 104 to 93 with another 58 issues unchanged.

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