ECONOMY

Piraeus port to join ASE listings next week

The public subscription for the listing on the Athens Stock Exchange of Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) will take place between July 23-25, Chairman and Managing Director Sotiris Theofanis said yesterday. The Agricultural Bank of Greece and EFG Eurobank Ergasias will be the lead underwriters in the offer of 6,072,000 shares to the public out of OLP’s total of 25 million shares. Another 330,000 shares will be distributed through private placement. Curiously, no shares will be given to the Piraeus municipality. The interministerial Privatizations Committee decided that OLP will distribute to retail investors one free share for each 10 shares they hold on to after six months. There will be a ceiling of 20 free shares per investor. Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Paschalidis said that OLP’s task had been made easier by the successful introduction of the Thessaloniki Port Authority a couple of years ago, adding that OLP’s fundamentals, as described in the company’s listing brochure, were by themselves a guarantee of success in the stock market. The Piraeus port employs 1,709 people and covers an area of 500 hectares. It is the largest port in the Mediterranean and among the 50 largest in the world. As a passenger port, it is Europe’s busiest and third in the world, with over 20 million passengers arriving and departing through it annually. Each year, 28,000 ships arrive at Piraeus’s port; a total of 321,000 cars, 1.4 million containers and 1.2 million tons of bulk cargo transit through the port. OLP’s turnover in 2002 was 130.8 million euros. The operational result – earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITDA) – was 33 million euros and pretax profits were 30.1 million euros. In 2003, pretax profits are set to rise slightly, to 31 million euros. OLP will invest a total of 429 million euros in the period 2003-2007 to upgrade installations. Of these, 152 million will go toward expanding and upgrading the cargo terminal, 14.2 million for infrastructure improvements in the car terminal, 17 million on works in the main passenger terminal, 4 million euros in upgrades in the shipbuilding section, 24.1 million for Olympics-related projects, and 178.4 million for improvements in property earmarked for development.