ECONOMY

In Brief

Piraeus Port Authority launches IPO for listing on Athens bourse Public subscriptions for the listing of the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) on the Athens bourse begin today and end Friday. The government will sell 6,072,000 shares at a price between 7.7 and 8.8 euros, while a further 303,000 shares will be placed privately. Non-institutional investors that will retain their shares for at least six months will be given a bonus of one share for every 10. OLP reported 2002 pretax earnings of 30.1 million euros on turnover of 130.8 million. EBZ gives up plan to acquire control and management of third Serbian firm Hellenic Sugar Industry (EBZ) has abandoned a plan to gain majority control and the management of Serbia’s Back Fabrica Secera, in which it already owned a 32 percent interest. The plan is said to have foundered on the excessively high price of the local firm’s share, which shot up from 23 to 29 euros after the issue of the tender for a 90 percent stake on July 2. EBZ is now orienting itself toward investing in two other Serbian industries it owns, aiming to increase their combined daily capacity from 10,000 to 13,000 tons by autumn of 2004. Gov’t ownership The government owns 18.46 percent of the National Bank (NBG) and 51.15 percent of football pools and games-of-chance firm OPAP, after its recent second floating, the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) said in a statement. Also, after the recent privatization of Hellenic Exchanges, the holding company that owns the ASE, NBG holds a 12.83 percent interest, the Agricultural Bank 9.89 percent, Alpha Bank 9.65 percent, EFG Eurobank Ergasias 7.37 percent, Emporiki Bank 5.7 percent and the Postal Savings Bank 6.39 percent. Export promotion Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis tomorrow will attend the Hellenic Export Promotion Organization’s launch of its Exports Initiative 2003 program, to help small and medium-sized enterprises expand sales abroad. The program, which will initially cover 40 firms, has been prepared with the Federation of Greek Industries and business consultants firm McKinsey, and will also involve Greek commercial attaches abroad. Airport security The Transport Ministry is considering assigning security at five of the country’s regional airports (Thessaloniki, Iraklion, Rhodes, Kos and Corfu) to private firms after the end of the Olympic Games next year, as part of plans to free police staff for other tasks. Separately, an amendment tabled yesterday aims to help mobile telephony firms install new relay stations in order to meet the projected jump in call traffic during the Games. EU-SE Europe business A total of 155 firms from SE Europe have been selected to participate in the Balkan and Black Sea Partnership 2003 in Thessaloniki on November 17 and 18, which is aimed to promote contacts with EU firms; participants include 55 Greek firms, 30 Serbian, 25 from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 11 each from Turkey and Bulgaria, 10 from Romania, nine from Albania, five from Ukraine and one from Russia. Thirty-one percent of participants have said they are seeking sales growth and only 17 percent joint venture schemes.