ECONOMY

In Brief

Poseidonia 2004 opens, hosting creme de la creme of global shipping More than 500 officials and prominent representatives of the shipping industry from 50 countries attended a maritime policy forum at the Evgenidion Foundation yesterday, before Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis opened the Poseidonia 2004 international shipping exhibition at the Piraeus Port Authority building. The Union of Greek Shipowners’ (EEE) president, Nikos Efthymiou, said the recovery of global shipping is helping considerably in the modernization of fleets. Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis said the government aims at promoting a shipping industry that is competitive, safe in navigation and friendly to the environment. He said Greek owners today account for 9 percent of the number of vessels globally and 18 percent of deadweight tonnage. The Greek shipping industry contributed 9.57 billion euros in foreign currency to the country’s economy in 2003 and supports, directly and indirectly, the employment of 200,000 people. Poseidonia is hosting 1,640 exhibitors from 74 countries. Foreign interest in Greek shares continues growing in May Foreign institutional investors continued buttressing their positions in the Greek stock market for the sixth straight month in May. Their total placements rose from 33.74 percent in April to 33.80 percent, due to a rise in their share in blue chips from 41.3 percent to 41.7 percent. The share of Greek investors also declined in mid- and small-caps, but these remained above 81 percent and 83 percent respectively. Foreign investors also showed a greater relative interest in stock sales and purchases compared to April. Securitization loan EFG Eurobank-Ergasias said it completed the placement of a 750-million-euro mortgage loan securitization, raising capital to fund future lending growth. The bank said the issued bonds mature in 2036. The average cost of capital raised for seven years was Euribor plus 19 basis points, «among the lowest in the market.» Citibank, Deutsche Bank and EFG Telesis Finance were the advisers on the securitization. (Reuters) Derivatives Greece’s futures and options exchange (ADEX) said May trading volume rose 12 percent, making it its fourth-best month since it launched derivatives trading in 1999. ADEX said average daily trading volume also rose 12 percent month-on-month to 24,207 contracts. The exchange said it traded a total of 968,282 contracts in individual stock futures, stock index futures and options, currency futures, stock repos and reverse repos and stock options last month. (Reuters) Aspis Aspis Bank has formed a shipping banking department, from the merger of the respective arms of ABN Amro Bank and Standard Chartered Grindlays Bank in Greece, which Aspis has acquired. Constantinos Petropouliadis, formerly of JP Morgan/Chase and Royal Bank of Scotland, has been appointed head of the new department, which plans to participate in small club deals and syndicated loans, and expand cross sales with investment and corporate banking.