ECONOMY

Greek blue chips make MSCI debut

Three Greek blue chip stocks were included for the first time in Morgan Stanley Capital International’s (MSCI) Pan Euro and euro indices, an announcement by the index compiler late on Tuesday showed. OTE Telecom and National Bank, which both also trade in ADR form on the New York and London stock exchanges, were among the other European large-cap constituents. Alpha Bank was the third Greek representative. MSCI’s standard Pan Euro and euro indices are narrower versions, or subsets, of the broader MSCI Europe and EMU indices, aiming to capture 90 percent of the wider benchmarks. The indices are specifically designed to include the largest and most liquid securities from the broader benchmarks and serve as the basis for derivatives contracts and exchange traded funds, MSCI said. Futures contracts on MSCI’s Pan Euro and euro indices have been trading on London’s Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE) since May 1999. LIFFE launched universal stock futures on OTE Telecom and National Bank on October 31. Greece’s total weight in the larger Pan Euro index adds up to 1.6 percent, said broker Nikos Diamantopoulos at Kappa Securities in Athens. In the smaller euro index the weight of the three Greek constituents is 0.78 percent. MSCI’s Pan Euro index includes 212 constituent stocks with the Euro index comprising 111 shares. Besides the passive money that tracks these indices, the fact that they are benchmarks for futures contracts may at times attract erratic flows, Diamantopoulos said. OTE best of Stoxx 30 In another development, OTE and National were named as the best stocks in the Greek market by Schroder Salomon Smith Barney (SSSB), which selects its best national stocks only from those having a market value above 5 billion euros. OTE was also placed top of SSSB’s list of the best 30 among the 600 of the Stoxx Europe index. Panafon Vodafone cellular operator was the other Greek stock included in the list, in 17th place. By contrast, EFG Eurobank Ergasias is placed in the list of the worst 30, 17th from bottom. SSSB’s evaluation model uses relative value and momentum. Relative value is measured by the price/earnings ratio (P/E), while momentum is measured on the basis of profits, the share price and its rate of increase. We have always cooperated with all Mediterranean countries on cultural and scientific matters and showed respect for each other’s differences, because although we in the Mediterranean have a lot in common, we have many differences too. The charter of the Community of Universities mentions the need to reformulate and promote scientific cooperation. In this context, they see diet as something that is related not only to health but also to culture, tradition and economics.