ECONOMY

In Brief

TIF opens on Friday, hopes are fixed on special features The Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) cannot remain unaffected by the global trend away from general and toward sectoral exhibitions, the organization’s chairman, Vassilis Kourtesis, acknowledged at a news briefing yesterday. «If TIF did not have significant political backing, it would face the prospect of following the trend of general exhibitions, which are seeing their visitors fall in number,» he said. The number of participating exhibitors in this year’s TIF, which is due to open on Friday, has fallen to 1,058 from 1,255 last year and 1,400 in 2001. Foreign state participations are down to 14 from 18 last year. Kourtesis claimed «certain small enterprises did not apply in time due to economic difficulties. TIF this year features a fairground – which the organizers hope will maintain visitors’ interest – and a sectoral exhibition of educational establishments. London Business School’s Professor Charles Handy is to speak on «The Future of Organizations, Employment & Education» at the I. Vellidis Convention Center on September 10. More of PPC to be floated in November Greece will sell about 15 percent of electricity utility Public Power Corp (PPC) via a domestic offering and a private placement with foreign funds in early November, a source close to the deal said yesterday. «The public offering will be for a percentage close to 15 percent, excluding an offer to employees at the same time,» the source told Reuters. Greece currently owns 67 percent of PPC, which has a market capitalization of 4.16 billion euros. The source said Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, National Bank, Alpha Bank and EFG Eurobank-Ergasias would underwrite the offering. (Reuters) Coke Merrill Lynch yesterday cut its rating on shares of the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company to «neutral» from «buy» after the stock’s 39 percent rise since March this year, it said in a research note. «Even with the 2-euro dividend payout, the valuation, the change in managing director and the prospective overhang post the 12-month lockout (agreed by leading shareholders) leave us doubtful that returns can exceed the 20 percent required to maintain a buy recommendation,» an analyst said. (Reuters) Army order British aero-engines maker Rolls-Royce Plc said yesterday the Greek armed forces had selected an engine made by one of its joint ventures to power up to 34 new helicopters. The RTM322 engines are made by Rolls-Royce Turbomeca, a joint venture with French engine maker Snecma Group. Rolls-Royce did not put a value on the deal. (Reuters) Prices The Development Ministry hopes to prevent price rises in potatoes, apples, pears and oranges by banning their resale from wholesaler to wholesaler, reports said. A regulation is said to be issued in the next few days, exempting only producing areas. Forthnet The Internet provider is offering a 15 percent discount on all Fast Internet ADSL Static packages until September 30. It also announced the launching of ADSL 256 packages for firms and households.