ECONOMY

In Brief

Emporiki adds to buoyancy of 9-month bank sector results Emporiki Bank yesterday reported a 26.5 percent rise in third-quarter group pretax profit after minorities, compared with the previous three months of 2003, when there was a slight fall. The country’s fourth-largest bank said third-quarter profits were 27.5 million euros ($32.2 million), slightly above market expectations. This boosted nine-month results to around 15 percent up from a year ago, to reach 83.7 million euros. «The third-quarter rise is due to an increase in interest income and commissions by almost 12 million euros in the third quarter versus the second,» a bank spokesman said, adding that trading income was boosted over the summer as the Greek bourse picked up. Nine-month net interest income rose 8.3 percent year-on-year to 446.3 million euros, with net interest margin improving to 3.6 percent from 3.1 percent a year earlier. «The increase in the pretax profits of the Group reflects the significant improvement in recurrent income,» Emporiki said in a statement. Securities firms fined for transgressing rules and ethics The Capital Market Commission has fined EFG Telesis Finance 50,000 euros for falsely registering an offshore company as an institutional investor in the public subscription for Livanis Publications, in which it acted as a lead manager. It also fined stockbrokers G-Trade 35,000 euros for violation of stock market legislation and of the code of ethics. Chipita Snack foods maker Chipita International reported a 15.4 percent rise in nine-month group pretax profit to 11.21 million euros, year-on-year, on a 1.5 percent increase in sales to 155.51 million. The firm, which said foreign sales were adversely affected by currency movements, plans to focus expansion in Eastern Europe, where its plants in Bulgaria, Romania, Russia and Poland have the best growth prospects. In June, it acquired Egypt’s listed firm International Food Company «Hostess.» The group has signed a memorandum with four banks (Alpha, EFG Eurobank, National and Piraeus) for the issue of a 70-million-euro bond loan, to refinance old loans and reschedule debt. (Reuters) ELBO Hellenic Vehicles Industry (ELBO) will supply 20 Mercedes 290 GDT-type jeeps to the Albanian armed forces for 1.5 million euros. Payment will be effected on a barter basis with old armaments. ELBO manufactures Mercedes 290 GDT jeeps in its Sindos plant near Thessaloniki since 1986. Mining The Greek Metal Mining Enterprises Association has asked the government to include the industry in the new investment incentives law and to take into account cost-benefit analyses in the consideration of environmental impact studies for proposed investment schemes, so as to prevent legal suits which have a delaying effect. Deputy Development Minister Alexandros Kalafatis promised the requests would be looked at in a favorable light.