ECONOMY

In Brief

Parliament approves Mont Parnes and Corfu casino privatization bill Parliament yesterday approved the bill for the partial privatization of the Mont Parnes and Corfu casinos. Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos, replying to opposition allegations of scandalous and intransparent procedures in the 49 percent sale of Mont Parnes to the consortium of casino and hotel group Hyatt Regency and construction company Hellenic Technodomiki, said the terms of the tender were known in advance to all bidders and there was no question of a sellout of public property. He said, under the terms of sale, the buyer would pay an initial sum of about 90 million euros and undertook to invest a further 35 million. The government also acquired the right to receive 30 million euros annually from the ceding of the operating license, while the Forestry Department would receive 4.5 million euros for the protection of the Mount Parnitha nature reserve. In yesterday’s edition, we erroneously referred to construction company Technical Olympic as part of the winning consortium. OTE to sponsor ‘IHT World’ business TV news program OTE Telecom subsidiary OTE International will act as a sponsor for the International Herald Tribune’s award-winning weekly business news program «IHT World» in the Balkans, under an agreement reached with producers Fact Based Communications (FBC). «As a major investor in Southeastern Europe, OTE International actively supports the exchange of knowledge and information that may contribute to the region’s economic growth and development,» said George Skarpelis, Chairman of OTE International. «IHT World» is broadcast in 16 languages in 96 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and the USA. In the Balkans, apart from Greece, it is aired on national broadcasters in Romania (TVR), Serbia (BKTV), the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (A1 Television) and Cyprus (CYBC), reaching over 10 million households. OTE International has investments in Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, FYROM, Armenia and Jordan. Greco-Russian business Thessaloniki’s Chamber of Small Manufacturers (VET) announced the setting up of the Association of Greco-Russian Entrepreneurial Cooperation, with additional offices in Larissa, Moscow and St Petersburg. Russian Consul General V. Boiko said his country’s economy grew 5.3 percent in 2002, that it now had a favorable environment for investment, and that Russian investors’ interest in Greece centered on tourism and commerce. Sofia The Thessaloniki Stock Market Center, a subsidiary of Hellenic Exchanges that also owns the Athens bourse, will hold seminars in Sofia, Bulgaria, on April 7, 8 and 9 on stock market operations, corporate governance and the latest developments in the EU. The event will include a presentation of the Greek capital market on the opening day. Levi’s Levi Strauss Hellas said turnover grew 5 percent to 22.1 million euros in the December 2001 – November 2002 period, and that it projects further growth in 2003 through a broadened variety of its products.