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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-05-19

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek bond market closing report
  • [02] Major rail reforms OK'ed
  • [03] Stocks up 3.8% on Tues.

  • [01] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market soared to 1.745 billion euros on Tuesday, of which 1.090 billion were buy orders and the remaining 655 million euros were sell orders. The 10-year benchmark bond (July 19, 2019) was the most heavily traded security with a turnover of 1.005 billion euros. The yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds shrank further to 170 basis points, with the Greek bond yielding 5.13 pct and the German Bund 3.43 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates moved lower. The 12-month Euribor rate was 1.59 pct, the six-month rate 1.43 pct, the three-month rate 1.23 pct and the one-month rate 0.81 pct.

    [02] Major rail reforms OK'ed

    The government on Tuesday approved a major reforms package and the urgent rationalisation of loss-making Hellenic Railways (OSE), during a meeting of the Inner Cabinet, again chaired by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    Transport Minister Evripides Stylianidis afterwards told reporters that major reforms are absolutely necessary, as OSE's accumulated debts are now close to nine billion euros and the utility's cost-revenue ratio stands at 8:1, when the European average is 10:8.

    "Greek citizens currently pay two million euros a day to maintain a network that is, unfortunately, declining, due to choices made in the past; this network is only able to survive and operate because of the earnest efforts of its workforce," Stylianidis stressed.

    He said the government's aim was to press ahead with changes and once again link up Greece with important European and international railway networks, providing high quality services to Greek citizens and ending the isolation of Greece's outlying rural areas.

    The minister emphasised, meanwhile, that the plan aims for rationalisation and not privatisation of the organisation, while adding that "deregulation allows the participation of private service providers".

    Regarding OSE employees, Stylianidis said the government intended to begin consultation and to propose a system of "salaried reserves" that will drastically cut back the number of workers but in a way that would not interfere with the organisation's operation.

    In addition to the reform efforts, the government was attempting to speed up work being carried out on the central line between Patras, Athens, Thessaloniki, Eidomeni and Promahonas (PATHEP), he added.

    On its part, however, the OSE employees' union called a strike.

    The railway workers' union POS has also called a 24-hour nationwide strike on Thursday, according to an announcement by the railways' management.

    [03] Stocks up 3.8% on Tues.

    Greek stocks soared to new year highs at the Athens Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The composite index of the market jumped 3.80 pct to end at 2,253.73 points, with turnover an improved 300.6 million euros of which 6.8 million were block trades.

    All sectors moved upwards, with the exception of the Personal/Home Products which ended 0.14 pct down. Media (13.91 pct), Health (10.27 pct), Banks (6.94 pct) and Financial Services (4.11 pct) scored the biggest percentage gains of the day.

    The FTSE 20 index jumped 4.75 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 3.02 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index rose 2.41 pct. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 173 to 47 with another 46 issues unchanged.


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