ECONOMY

In Brief

Government bonds nearly double turnover in January, gain in price Government bonds on the Greek electronic secondary securities market (HDAT) traded higher in January, in line with the rest of the eurozone, the Bank of Greece said yesterday. Price gains were in the range of 5-42 basis points among the benchmark bonds, with the 5-year bond recording the highest gains. On January 13, a new 10-year benchmark bond was launched, with a 4.50 percent coupon. It closed at 100.31 (with a yield of 4.46 percent) at the end of January, compared to 100.14 at its issuance. Because of the new benchmark, the 10-year Greek-German yield spread widened to around 20 basis points (bps) from 12 bps in December 2003 (calculated with the old benchmark). The difference in spread is due to the different maturity dates of the Greek and the German 10-year benchmarks, with the Greek bond maturing five months later. Market turnover was 64.76 billion euros in January, compared to 34.02 billion euros in December 2003. Investors’ interest focused on medium- to long-term maturity bonds (7- to 20-year bonds) that absorbed 75.1 percent of the overall volume. «Buy» and «sell» orders in HDAT were almost equal. Hellas Sat partner reviewing interest after lower cash flows NICOSIA (Reuters) – Lower-than-expected revenues from a Greek satellite venture has prompted the Cyprus electricity authority (EAC) to rethink its involvement in the project, a spokesman for the authority said yesterday. EAC had expressed an intent to acquire a 26 percent stake in Hellas Sat Consortium Ltd – owner and operator of the satellite venture – for some $20 million. Hellas Sat Consortium is presently 84 percent-owned by Greece’s OTE Telecom. «The projected cash flows of the consortium were higher than what they actually are now, so we are looking at the situation,» a spokesman for the Cypriot authority said. The satellite was launched into orbit in May last year and started commercial operations on August 1. It is able to deliver voice, Internet, video and broadcasting throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East and southeast Asia. Panafon Socrates Kokkalis, head of telecoms equipment maker Intracom, yesterday resigned as board chairman at Vodafone Panafon, the Greek mobile operator said. He is succeeded by Emmanuele Tournon. WCIT Students and researchers aged up to 32 from anywhere in the world can take part in the Michael Dertouzos Awards competition, held in view of the scheduled World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2004 in Athens in May. Participants are asked to submit abstracts of papers in English on the subject of «Information Technology with a Human Face» by March 26. The authors of the best three papers will receive awards of 15,000, 9,000 and 6,000 euros and will have all expenses paid to attend the conference. For more information, log on to the congress’s website (www.worldcongress2004.org). Derivatives The Athens Derivatives Exchange (ADEX) this year will hold three series of preparatory training seminars in cooperation with the Hellenic American Union (HAU), leading to a certificate. The three series will be held in March, May and October respectively. For further information, call 210.368.0907.