ECONOMY

In Brief

NBG’s share in total lending keeps falling The National Bank of Greece’s (NBG) market share in loans has fallen from about 50 percent 15 years ago to just over a fifth now. According to data in the nine-month results of commercial banks, NBG’s share stood at 21.9 percent at the end of September from 23.8 a year earlier. This decline has closed the gap between NGB and Alpha Bank, the second-biggest lender, which now accounts for 19 percent of all loans. EFG Eurobank, the Commercial Bank and Piraeus Bank follow at a distance. The share of foreign banks fell from 14.1 to 13.5 percent over this period. The Bank of Cyprus has been steadily increasing its share and, according to provisional data, it now accounts for over 3 percent of all lending, having overtaken Citibank and HSBC. General Bank boosted its share from 2.3 to 2.5 percent, while Egnatia fell from 2.3 to 2.1 percent. Athens 2004 picks managers for Olympic accommodation Athens 2004, the organizers of the Olympic Games, approved two bank-led consortiums, Alpha Hospitality 2004 and Hellenic Hospitality, as the official managers of the accommodation program for the Games, the organization said in a statement. The two consortiums, led by Alpha Real Estate – an arm of Alpha Bank – and EFG Eurobank Properties respectively, will oversee the rentals of private apartments to visiting spectators. Athens 2004 will release the full details of the program at a press briefing on Monday. Kathimerini Publishing group Kathimerini yesterday reported 57 percent after-tax profit growth to 6.64 million euros in the nine months to September year-on-year, against 4.24 million in the same period of 2001. Turnover grew 21 percent to 48.75 million. The parent company posted a 13 percent rise in turnover to 30.55 million euros, while profits rose from 294,000 to 300,000 euros. Lower advertising revenue was made up by higher sales and printing revenue. The group said in a press release that the crucial contribution of shipping investment subsidiary Argonaftis to overall profitability is projected to continue. Alfa Alfa Holdings Construction and energy group Alfa Alfa Holdings yesterday posted nine-month profits of 26.3 million euros on 7.2 turnover growth to 339 million. Construction arm Alte reported pretax profit of 14.29 million euros on turnover of 134.5 million. The company said the results are not comparable to the same period last year due to the absorption of seven smaller firms in September this year, and that its backlog of projects now amounts to 480 euros. Alfa Alfa Energy reported pretax profit of 9.18 million euros on turnover of 170.3 million. Confidence The economic confidence index, comprising four separate indices for industry, consumers, construction and retail trade, was 0.3 percent higher in Greece in November than the previous month, according to the European Commission. The index rose in seven EU member states; the highest rise was in Belgium (0.7 percent) and the biggest fall in Germany (0.6 percent). Everest Catering group Everest, which acquired a majority stake in Olympic Catering this week, posted a 55.7 percent rise in nine-month profit to 2.4 million euros on turnover growth of 60.3 percent to 18.5 million.