ECONOMY

In Brief

Greek firms continue investing in neighboring FYROM Brewery Pivara Skopje, controlled by Athenian Breweries and Hellenic Bottling Company joint subsidiary Balkan Brew Holding Ltd, has acquired a 56.2 percent interest in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s (FYROM) biggest winery, Tikves, hitherto owned by employees. Pivara Skopje has a 90 percent share in the local beer market and is implementing investments of 60 million euros in beer and refreshment production units. The acquisition is estimated at about 5 million euros. Separately, listed aluminum profile maker Alumil has acquired a half-finished industrial facility in Skopje, which it plans to operate complementarily with its Serbian facility and for exports to Kosovo. The group already operates in FYROM commercial firm Alumil Skopje. Greece is FYROM’s biggest foreign investing country. Terna wins contract for upgrading Olympic Stadium complex The General Sports Secretariat yesterday assigned construction company Terna the 68-million-euro project for the aesthetic upgrade and extensive reconstruction of the Athens Olympic Stadium complex to improve access between facilities. The project, representing the second phase of work related to Spanish architect’s Santiago Calatrava’s study, has faced serious delays due to a spate of litigations by competitors to the Council of State. The plan is now projected for completion on May 30, 2004. Foreign investment Greece attracted zero foreign direct investment (for acquisition of enterprises) as a percentage of GDP last year, after a steady decline in recent years; the rate was 0.7 percent in 2001. By contrast, the Czech Republic in 2002 attracted direct investment amounting to 8.7 percent of GDP, Slovakia 7.2 percent, Hungary 4.7 percent, Poland 3.2 percent, Turkey 2.2 percent and Estonia 9.7 percent. NBG National Bank of Greece (NBG) Deputy Governor Apostolos Tamvakakis is expected in Bucharest next week to discuss with senior Romanian central bank officials the possible acquisition of the country’s Romanenska Banka, a 26-branch concern with assets valued at 150 million euros. NBG accountants are already conducting due diligence of the bank’s books, expected to be completed in two months. Promota Promotional gifts firm Promota Hellas’s 63.5 percent share in Chinese firm Goldwell is one of the collateral victims of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic; the firm said it is returning the stake it bought in February to its original owners, as Goldwell is suffering from the deteriorating business climate due to the spread of SARS. It also said it had to protect the health of a five-member team that had planned to travel to China to implement a business plan. Iaso Listed maternity hospital Iaso is to seek shareholder approval for a reduction in equity capital, with a view to improving capital structure and return on equity, it said. The plan will involve a payout of 0.54 euros per share in addition to the 0.19 euros proposed as a dividend. The firm said it has ample liquidity and plans to invest more than 100 million euros in the 2003-2005 period.