In Brief

Gov’t plans further sale of stake in National Bank The government plans to complete by January the sale of around 2 percent of the country’s biggest bank, National Bank, to domestic pension funds, a senior Finance Ministry official said yesterday. «We are planning the sale directly to the pension funds toward the end of December or early January,» said the official, who declined to be named. The sale could bring in around 100 million euros, based on Wednesday’s closing price. The Finance Ministry said in November it was in talks with pension funds to sell between 2 and 2.5 percent in National. The State now directly controls 7.5 percent of National. Greek institutional investors hold a fifth of the bank’s shares, foreign investors have 18 percent, and pension funds around 17 percent. (Reuters) Emporiki has two-phase asset revaluation plan Emporiki Bank plans to revalue some of its real estate assets in a move that could boost its equity capital by up to 100 million euros at the end of the year, a senior source in the bank said yesterday. According to a law passed late last year, banks and listed companies are allowed to revalue own-use real estate on an annual basis, with the new value set according to so-called «objective values,» which are set by the Greek State. According to the source, Emporiki’s board is planning to revalue those assets before the end of 2003 and follow with a further revaluation of real estate assets next year, when the bank switches to International Accounting Standards. «We will revalue the real estate values in two phases, by first of all revaluing the own-use real estate based on objective values,» the source told Reuters, adding the bank saw a boost of up to 100 million euros from the plan. The sum would represent an 8 percent increase to Emporiki’s own capital, which currently stands at around 1.25 billion euros. (Reuters) No satellite stake OTE Telecom yesterday confirmed it stands to gain $70 million from the sale of its 4.65 percent stake in Inmarsat after shareholders of the UK satellite operator agreed to a buyout offer. An OTE source told Reuters on Wednesday the company’s board approved the sale of its minority stakes in Inmarsat and France’s satellite operator Eutelsat that would fetch around $91 million. OTE said in a statement that Inmarsat shareholders voted on December 1 to accept a bid from Grapeclose Ltd, a company set up by UK-based private equity funds, and a final approval for the deal was due on December 16. (Reuters) Marketing Sales & Marketing Review Magazine today holds a conference on «Sales and Marketing: A New Era of Challenges,» at the Athinais conference hall in Votanikos, Athens. For further information, tel 210.614.9999. Papastratos The Athens Stock Exchange said that Papastratos tobacco firm would be removed from all bourse indices, effective today. Philip Morris Holland recently acquired almost 98 percent of the Greek tobacco maker after a public offer for minority shares. (Reuters)