ECONOMY

In Brief

Eurobank acquires Postbanka, dissolves investment fund EFG Eurobank Ergasias has completed the acquisition of 68 percent of Serbia’s Postbanka, which has equity capital of 3.7 million euros and assets of 14.7 million euros. The buyer said in a statement it plans to raise Postbanka’s equity to 10 million euros, carry out extensive restructuring and expand commercial and corporate banking operations. The Greek bank, with a current market value of 2.85 billion euros, already holds minority interests in Bulgaria’s Postbank and Romania’s Banc Post. Separately, shareholders of EFG Eurobank Ergasias announced it was scrapping plans to list subsidiary closed-end fund Euroinvestments on the Athens Stock Exchange and dissolve the company, citing adverse market conditions. «Shareholders reached the decision that, after a listing, the negative conditions prevailing in both the international and domestic capital markets would probably lead to a decrease of the fund’s share price compared to its net asset value,» the bank said in a statement. CoE assembly approves report on European farm reform Since the 1980s, farmers’ main concern has been to maximize production and this has had serious effects on the environment due to the unchecked use of fertilizers, which have now arrived on the consumers’ plate through the food chain, ruling PASOK party deputy Nikos Floros yesterday told the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg which approved his report on the reforms required in European agricultural policy. He cited the central Greek plain of Thessaly as an example of the failure of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to promote a viable and growing farming sector. «Water supplies fell to such an extent that extreme geological phenomena emerged… The switch to single crops and changes in the way of life resulted in the abandoning of rural areas; such problems must be taken into account before EU enlargement,» he said. The new CAP must promote the political and social role of farmers in society, address the problem of quality and adequate information for consumers, and give emphasis to protecting the particular characteristics of Europe’s various farming regions, Floros added. AB expands Listed supermarket chain Alfa Beta Vassilopoulos plans to open four more outlets this year, including one in the Athens suburb of Halandri and one in Nea Makri, in eastern Attica, the firm said in a letter to the Athens bourse. Another four outlets will be refurbished, including the Mega store at Hellenikon, and a new distribution center will be created in Thessaloniki to cater to northern Greece. According to a three-year plan, the firm expects average annual turnover to rise by 11 percent and operating results (EBITDA) by 20 percent. Alfa Beta Vassilopoulos is majority controlled by Delhaize «The Lion» Netherland BV. Special needs The Council of State has ruled that any regulations about the length of extended paid leave to the elected officials of the National Confederation of People with Special Needs must take into account the economic situation of their employers. Car show The Car & Moto-Boat Show will be held at the Helexpo fair grounds in Thessaloniki from April 10-13.