ECONOMY

In Brief

Hellas Jet projected for higher-than-forecast losses NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cypriot state airline Cyprus Airways declined to comment on reports yesterday that losses for its Greek subsidiary Hellas Jet were considerably higher than forecast. Two Greek-Cypriot dailies reported Athens-based Hellas Jet would face losses of 10 million Cyprus pounds (17.05 million euros) for last year. The original business plan allowed for losses of about 1 million euros per month. A spokesman for Cyprus Airways declined to comment on the figures reported. The company had already issued a profit warning in mid-2003 of Hellas Jet losses, the firm said in a statement. Company officials at Cyprus Airways told Reuters Hellas Jet was not forecast to break even for three years. Hellas Jet was established last year. Cyprus Airways is itself bracing itself for 2003 losses, primarily due to a steep repayment bill on a new fleet of aircraft acquired in 2002. Separately, the Bank of Cyprus warned it would post after-tax losses for 2003, blaming high provisioning. The bank, Cyprus’s largest financial group, is due to post its financial results on February 25. After-tax results for the year ended December 31, 2003 were expected to show «losses at approximately the same levels as that of 2002,» the bank said in a statement to the Cyprus Stock Exchange. ADEX reports 14.4 percent rise in 2003 derivatives trade values The total number of contracts traded on the Athens Derivatives Exchange (ADEX) in 2003 rose 31 percent to 9.68 million. The total value of ADEX transactions on stock futures, stock index futures and options, currency futures, stock repos and reverse, repos and stock options, was up 14.4 percent on 2002, compared to a 17.96 percent rise in the total value of transactions in the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) – excluding block trades. As a result, the ratio of the value of derivative contracts to the value of transactions in ASE shrank from 86 percent in 2002 to 73 percent last year. Courier firms The National Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT) has imposed fines totaling 1.27 million euros in the 2000-2003 period on 36 courier and postal service firms for violations of regulations ranging from operating without a license to the provision of shoddy services. A further 19 firms were cautioned. EETT said its controls significantly reduced the number of firms operating without a license. Papastratos Tobacco firm Papastratos said yesterday it got shareholder approval to apply to the Capital Market Commission to be delisted from the Athens Stock Exchange. Philip Morris Holland acquired 99.25 percent of the firm after a public offer for minority shares. (Reuters) Sato Office furniture firm Sato has won a 650,000-euro contract to lease about 9,000 items of equipment for the requirements of national Olympic committee officials and sponsors’ representatives during the Athens 2004 Games.