ECONOMY

CMC: Fraud report is confused

The Capital Market Commission (CMC) said yesterday the findings of a judicial investigation into allegations of a government-instigated attempt to bolster the stock market during last year’s pre-election campaign were unfounded, contradictory and lacking in detail. The prosecutor’s document does not base its views on the stock market legislation in force but on vague, confused and contradictory positions which have no basis in law… Claims of supposed omissions by the CMC are in no way backed by the evidence or documents, said the CMC in a statement. The report, by a First Instance Court public prosecutor, said purchases by the State Portfolio Management Company (DEKA) of shares of OTE Telecom, Hellenic Petroleum, National Bank and Commercial Bank – all blue-chip stocks that weigh heavily on the composite index of the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) – during the period between March 21 and April 10, 2000 were in violation of stock market legislation and referred to evidence of stock market fraud. The report was released and a copy submitted to Parliament late last month. The prices of the shares in question in the 15 trading sessions during the period in question did not show significant fluctuations, said the CMC statement. The document accuses the CMC of not tackling speculation phenomena, without providing any evidence for the supposed speculation and of who engaged in it in violation of stock market legislation. In a related development yesterday, the same prosecuting authority ordered a preliminary investigation into allegations by the former main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert of pre-electoral share manipulation by the ASE administration itself. In response, the ASE said in a press release that Evert’s cited purchases, of shares in the National and Commercial banks worth over 4 billion drachmas on April 3, 2000, were fully justified. Monokroussos said a 4-percent estimate for this year is more logical. He sees growth dipping below 4 percent next year as Greece battles with the impact of the global slowdown.