In Brief

PPC denies break-up report, opposition warns on listing The Public Power Corporation (PPC) has categorically denied a report in Sunday Eleftherotypia claiming that the government is considering the sale or long-term leasing of separate plants of the corporation to private operators, as a solution to the lack of private investment in power production since the deregulation of the market in February. Such scenarios are completely baseless and in opposition to the decisions of the government and the corporation’s management for the listing of PPC on the bourse, its restructuring and dynamic growth, said a press release. The main opposition New Democracy party yesterday questioned the likelihood of a successful listing of the corporation, given its chaotic internal organizational and operational situation and the present unfavorable economic circumstances. It noted in a statement that the government stood to collect 150 billion drachmas from PPC’s flotation of around 10 percent, while it would have to return 180 billion in the next two years to the workers’ social security fund. Final decisions on the timing of PPC’s public offering, initially scheduled for December 4-7, are expected to be adopted at a meeting at the Development Ministry tomorrow. Floridis to attend important ECOFIN meeting Deputy Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Floridis will participate in Brussels today in the deliberations of the ECOFIN Council on the EU’s 2002 budget. The discussions, of particular interest to Greece, include the Commission’s proposals for changing the sums initially budgeted for farming subsidies, which especially affect tobacco and cotton growers, and a European Parliament amendment to the subsidies which provides for the gradual reduction and abolition of those for tobacco after 2006. Another issue is the proposed creation of a 200-million euro reserve for aid to EU regions bordering on applicant countries for membership, in which Greece takes special interest due to its relations with its Balkan neighbors. Refreshing Coke profits. Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCHBC) yesterday reported operating profit growth of 54 percent to 155.7 million euros in the nine months to September compared with the same period of 2000. Consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 13 percent to 426 million euros. Sales volume increased 7 percent to 831.2 million unit cases, making for sales growth of 12 percent to 2,691.6 million euros in the nine months. The results are fully comparable with the same period of 2000, after inclusion of those of Coca-Cola Beverages Plc., acquired last year. Labor boss sees president. General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) Chairman Christos Polyzogopoulos yesterday briefed the President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos on developments regarding employment and the issue of the planned social security reform. It was the fourth such meeting this year. Moody’s rates General. Moody’s Investors Service has assigned a bank financial strength rating of D+ to General Bank. Long- and short-term ratings of Baa3 and Prime-3 were also assigned for foreign currency deposits. -In Caribs Premcor has fixed M/T Astro Altair for 70,000 tons of cargo loading Nov. 28 East Coast Mexico discharging US Gulf at W/S 132.5.

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