ECONOMY

In Brief

Greek firms show sharper interest in doing business with Turkey A number of Greek enterprises have shown interest in setting up subsidiaries or production partnerships with local firms in Turkey, following a recent publicity event in Thessaloniki, sources say. These include IT group Altec, General Foods, Compucon, food firm Thraki, plastics company Karina and construction firm Domotechniki. An even greater number are showing interest in the development of commercial deals and export potential. A group of 50 representatives of the Turkish furniture industry will be hosted by Thessaloniki’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry next week and meetings have been scheduled on Thursday with Greek counterparts. A much broader similar event, sponsored by the Athens Chamber, the Federation of Greek Industries and the Exporters’ Association, is being planned in about a month’s time in the Greek capital, with a view to consolidating contacts in Istanbul two months later. New CMC regulations issued for the protection of portfolio investors The Capital Market Commission has issued regulations designed to protect the clients of portfolio investment firms, including requirements to deposit portfolios with trustees and incorporate into contracts the clear warning that «the company does not guarantee the result of portfolio management.» Firms are also required to employ at least one certified investment specialist, a three-member investment committee, have a book recording transactions with clients on a daily basis and individual written contracts giving clients full details of management, the risk and financial instruments involved. Smart fans The Development Ministry has approved a proposal for a project titled «Access Control, Ticketing and Marketing Applications based on a Multi-Application Smart Card Platform for the Sports Events Industry» (Actions), submitted by a consortium led by IT firm Inform Lykos and including the National Technical University of Athens and Iraklis football club. Besides gaining access to stadiums, the card will be interactive through an Internet portal, also accessible to sports fans at info-kiosks. US taxpayers A tax assistor of the US Internal Revenue Service will be available for questions at the American Embassy in Athens, April 7-11, from 8.30 a.m. – noon and 1 p.m. – 3.30 p.m. daily. Alternatively, information on federal taxes may be found at websites www.irs.gov or www.firstgov.gov, or obtained from the IRS office of the US Embassy in Rome by calling (003906) 4674.2560 or faxing (003906) 4674.2223. Brokerage Avanti Financial Services, launched yesterday, aims to promote the most competitive banking and insurance products in Greece, acting as a broker, Managing Director Antonis Katsaras said. It is beginning with partnerships with insurance companies Allianz, Ethniki, Agrotiki and International and will soon announce deals with banks concerning various forms of credit and investment products. The firm aims to open 150 branches on a franchise basis throughout Greece within five years. Bulk order Lloyd’s List reported that Greek shipping group Restis is poised to sign an order for up to six double-hulled Handymax bulk carriers at China’s Xiamen shipyard. The deal could be worth close to $120 million if two optional vessels are confirmed.