ECONOMY

In Brief

Top stock market and bourse officials committed to trial Fourteen former and current members of the Capital Market Commission (CMC) and the board of directors of the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) have been committed to trial on September 14 on charges of dereliction of duty in stock market cases during the bull market of 1999-2000. The charges have been brought following an investigation into 11 companies, of which eight are listed and three non-listed. Those committed include ASE president Panayiotis Alexakis, who resigned on Wednesday, and former CMC president Stavros Thomadakis. Government preparing law on public-private project partnerships The government is preparing a legal framework for public-private partnerships in public projects, Environment and Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias told Parliament yesterday. He said national and EU funds do not suffice for public projects, and that the participation of private capital in concession agreements must be more than 40 percent. Of seven such announced projects, only the two underwater road connections in Thessaloniki and the Malliakos Gulf in central Greece are progressing. He said certain large concession projects in future may require parliamentary approval. He said the infamous «mathematical formula,» initially conceived to prevent excessive underbidding but which led to collusion among contractors, «is dead and will soon be replaced.» Heavy fine The Capital Market Commission (CMC) yesterday clamped down on securities firm Acropolis for filing false data which misrepresented the results of the IPO of construction company Technerga, and for setting the subscription price at the upper end of the pre-announced range. Acropolis was fined 1 million euros, ordered to suspend all procedures regarding the specific IPO, and return all funds paid by investors. CMC also suspended Acropolis’s license for providing IPO services for three months, and initiated procedures for a permanent suspension. This would not affect the firm’s other investment activities. Job opportunities Five-hundred unemployed people with at least high school education and aged up to 35 will be given the opportunity to acquire work experience for eight months in public organizations overseen by the Development Ministry. Most of them will be employed in an anti-profiteering drive during and after the Olympic Games. Candidates apply at the Manpower Organization (OAED). A-B Belgian supermarket group Delhaize, which controls A-B Vassilopoulos in Greece, will soon launch a new series of low-priced, own-label products under the «365» mark throughout its European chain. Corruption in hospitals Public prosecutors are looking into cases of corruption in the procurement of supplies by public hospitals, uncovered by the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE), sources say. SDOE launched a probe in a central Athens hospital in 2002, but its findings are said to have been shelved for some time and the member of staff on whose allegations the probe was based transferred to another department.