ECONOMY

In Brief

Conversion to euro shuts tax offices on Dec. 31 Public taxation offices will be closed for business on Monday, December 31, the Finance Ministry said yesterday. Today is the last day for payment of any taxes and the submission of declarations due before year-end, with the exception of VAT declarations which can be submitted starting on Wednesday, January 2. Public Power Corporation offices will also be shut for the payment of electricity bills, due to technical reasons related to the transition to the euro. Banks will only supply businesses with euros on the same day. Car insurance premiums set to rise by up to 10 percent in 2002 Car insurance premiums are to rise by up to 10 percent in the new year, according to a report in the daily Ethnos yesterday, while coverage for fire as a result of terrorist acts will go up by more than 20 percent. The leading insurance firms are preparing to announce the new rates in the next few days, said the report. Brisk business for casinos. As is the custom each year, Greek casinos had plenty of business over the Christmas holiday. According to data provided by the largest three casinos, on Mt Parnitha, at Loutraki and in Thessaloniki, they had a total of 58,000 customers betting some 7.7 billion drachmas (22.6 million euros) in the period from December 22-26. The three casinos netted 2.2 billion drachmas (6.46 million euros). The state-owned Mt Parnitha casino, up for sale, is expected to become the subject of a bidding war between the other two, privately operated, casinos. The deadline for submission of bids for a controlling share ends today. Five bond managers. The Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) announced yesterday it has mandated five financial institutions to jointly lead manage the launch of a new 10-year bond in January. «The Hellenic Republic has mandated Credit Suisse First Boston, JP Morgan, San Paolo IMI, National Bank of Greece and EFG Eurobank,» PDMA said. «(They will) jointly lead manage the launch of a new 10-year (May 2012) bond during the second week of January 2002,» it said. PDMA plans two syndicated issues in January and February 2002, a 10-year and a five-year benchmark bond, respectively. (Reuters) The main National-100 index ended up 4.14 percent at 13,608.99 points, building on the 3-percent gains of the previous two trading days.