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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-08-27

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM receives new NATO chief Rasmussen
  • [02] Vivartia Group reports improved H1 results
  • [03] Aegean Regatta highlights islands' beauty
  • [04] Credit growth slows in July
  • [05] PPC reports strong H1 profits

  • [01] PM receives new NATO chief Rasmussen

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Thursday received the NATO alliance's new general secretary, former Danish premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen, at his Maximos Mansion office in Athens, with talks expectedly focusing on deliberations over NATO's new strategic doctrine.

    In reference to the latter, Karamanlis emphasised that Greece will actively participate in talks and the process to formulate a new doctrine for the alliance.

    "We also discussed the situation in Afghanistan after the recent presidential elections there. And, of course, we discussed the very significant ISAF force (in Afghanistan), which is under NATO command," Karamanlis said.

    In reference to the issue of NATO relations with Russia, the Greek PM said he and the NATO chief agreed completely over the need to upgrade this relationship into one of the alliance's priorities, while reiterating that Athens is in favor of utilising all mechanisms towards better cooperation and dialogue, "even on issues when the views of the two sides are not necessarily identical."

    Moreover, Karamanlis repeated that Athens wholly backs cooperation with countries of the Mediterranean Dialogue initiative and the Istanbul Initiative.

    In response to a press question referring to prospects for greater EU-NATO cooperation, Karamanlis -- in an indirect reference to EU member-state Cyprus and standing objections by NATO member and EU hopeful Turkey -- emphasised that "when NATO pursues greater cooperation with the EU it is self-evident that this will be with all (of the EU's) members

    [02] Vivartia Group reports improved H1 results

    Vivartia Group on Thursday reported improved results for the first half of the year, with consolidated sales rising 11.3 pct to 704.2 million euros, from 632.6 million euros in the same period in 2008 - reflecting partly the integration of Everest and Nonni's - while consolidated pre-tax, interest and amortization earnings (EBITDA) rose 18.3 pct to 64.1 million euros, from 54.2 million euros last year.

    Consolidated after tax and minorities results showed a loss of 1.68 million euros in the first six months of 2009, after a loss of 2.76 million euros last year, an improvement of 39.1 pct.

    Commenting on the results, Spyros Theodoropoulos, Vivartia's chief executive, said the group managed to improve its results in a difficult and uncertain environment.

    [03] Aegean Regatta highlights islands' beauty

    The second phase of the Aegean Regatta International open sea race was concluded on Wednesday at port of Vathy on the eastern Aegean island of Samos. A lack of winds delayed the start of the second race. The Regatta is organised for the ninth year by the Merchant Marine, Aegean and Islands policy Ministry. Seventy-three vessels and some 700 crew members participated this year in the race, which set off on Aug. 22 from the eastern Aegean isle of Ikaria. The Aegean Regatta will end on Saturday, Aug. 29 when the vessels will dock in Lipsi isle.

    [04] Credit growth slows in July

    Credit expansion slowed further in July, with the annual growth rate of funding to enterprises and households falling to 6.6 pct, from 7.4 pct in June 2009 and 15.9 pct in December 2008, reflecting slower credit expansion both to enterprises and households.

    Net new funding to domestic enterprises totaled 464 million euros in July, for an annual growth rate of 7.9 pct, down from 8.6 pct in June and 18.7 pct in December 2008. Credit expansion grew significantly towards the communications and transport sectors ‚excluding shipping, it was unchanged in the farm sector and slowed to all other sectors. Credit growth to the manufacturing sector fell to 0.9 pct in July, from 2.5 pct in June and 15.8 pct in December 2008, in the commerce sector annual growth slowed to 10.0 pct in July, from 10.9 pct in June and 19.5 pct in December and in the construction sectors it fell to 9.4 pct in July from 10.8 pct in June and 35.2 pct in December 2008.

    Net new funding to Greek households totaled 383 million euros in July, for an annual growth rate of 5.2 pct, from 6.2 pct in June and 12.8 pct in December 2008. Mortgage loans totaled 329 million euros for an annual growth rate of 5.2 pct in July (6.0 pct in June and 11.5 pct in December 2008), while consumer loans totaled 115 million euros for an annual growth rate of 5.8 pct in July (7.1 pct in June and 16.0 pct in December 2008). Other loans to households fell by 63 million euros for an annual growth rate of -1.2 pct in July (0.9 pct in June and 9.5 pct in December 2008).

    [05] PPC reports strong H1 profits

    Public Power Corp. (PPC) on Thursday reported net profits totaling 412.1 million euros in the first half of 2009, reversing a loss of 111.8 million euros in the same period last year. PPC said pre-tax, interest and amortisation earnings (EBITDA) jumped to 898.8 million euros in the January-June period from 222.2 million euros in 2008. PPC, state-run Greece‚s power utility, also said pre-tax profits totaled 557.4 million euros in the first six months of the year, after losses of 115 million euros in 2008.

    PPC said demand for electricity fell in the first half of 2009, along with a significant decline in spending on fuels. Revenues rose 5.9 pct to 2.9 billion euros, reflecting a 7.3 pct rise in electricity rates, despite a 4.9 pct decline in energy sales to the industrial and agricultural sectors.

    Commenting on the results, P. Athanasopoulos, PPC‚s chairman and chief executive, said the first half of 2009 was very profitable, reflecting the impact of positive factors, such as a drastic fall in oil prices and energy markets and higher hydroelectric production. These developments highlighted PPC‚s vulnerability to outside fluctuations.


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