ECONOMY

In Brief

Underperformers may have to go to boost ASE volume and liquidity The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) is considering striking firms off its trading list under certain conditions, with a view to boosting trading volume, according to a draft paper circulated among directors. The measure is part of a batch that the ASE is working on, and is envisaged to apply within six months if the firm’s equity capital falls below one-half of share capital and a general meeting is not called to discuss rectifying measures; also, if the listed firm is placed under liquidation or receivership, if its directors repeatedly ignore provisions of stock market legislation, and if it has been under suspension for more than 12 months and has not undertaken any activities to rectify its situation. Another measure provides that firms with a persistently low share price, small dispersion and extremely low annual share circulation will be moved to the proposed new market category of low liquidity. Separately, the ASE yesterday decided to recall construction firm Themeliodomi from the «under supervision» category, where it was placed 12 days ago, after reconsidering its recently published financial statements for 2002. OSE picks advisers for real estate development schemes Hellenic Railways (OSE) real estate arm GAIAOSE has picked the Planet-Ernst & Young consortium as adviser on the development and management of the group’s real estate and office assets. Also, SGI-Trademco has been chosen to prepare a study on the upgrading and development of railway stations, and BPM to organize and support the company’s action plans. GAIAOSE, which is the largest real estate owner in Greece, is also to pick a financial adviser for the large project of developing two large land properties in Piraeus, in Kaminia and Aghios Dionysios. For the tender, budgeted at 1 million euros, candidates include PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Alpha Finance, Planet-Ernst & Young, Deloitte & Touche, and National Bank of Greece. Another tender result pending concerns the adviser for the project of OSE’s land register. Laundering Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis is preparing to reintroduce a legal provision requiring importers of foreign capital for property purchases to prove the origin of funds, sources said. The provision was abolished by Law 3091 last year, as part of efforts to pep up entrepreneurship, but this has reportedly created differences among ministers, some of whom take the view the abolition facilitates money laundering. The sources said, however, that the measure will only be reintroduced for individuals, leaving enterprises unaffected. China visit The Greek-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EVETH) is organizing two business delegations to the Canton International Fair next month, April 15-20 and 25-30. Participants will be able to contact Chinese businessmen. Entries will be registered at tel 210.362.9445 until this Friday. Quality The Development Ministry yesterday approved the setting up of a National Quality Council that will advise on policy, planning, organization and control on quality issues.