ECONOMY

NBG chiefs on tour

National Bank of Greece Chairman and Chief Executive Takis Arapoglou and Vice Chairman Yiannis Pehlivanidis are traveling all over the country aiming to boost the relations of Greece’s largest commercial bank with local business communities. As part of this campaign, the two top managers visited the city of Ioannina yesterday, where they met with businessmen and professionals from northwestern Greece. Participants came from the prefectures of Arta, Thesprotia, Ioannina, Corfu and Preveza. Addressing the audience, Arapoglou noted that their part of the country has the potential for further development and that such a goal may be achieved as long as everyone does his part. Arapoglou referred to the construction of new infrastructure, such as the Rio-Antirion Bridge and the port of Igoumenitsa – which is the closest such facility to the rest of Europe – as well as the Ionian Highway, which is now in the planning stage but will connect the Peloponnese with Epirus and, moreover, with neighboring Albania. Developing such integrated infrastructure will also allow for better access to such tourist destinations as Corfu, the seaside areas of Thesprotia, Preveza and Arta, as well as to the traditional villages of Metsovo and Zagorohoria, Arapoglou said. The National Bank chief noted that the financial product that seems most suited to the needs of the business community in the area is the «credit line» lending facility, which to date has proven most popular, especially among the services sector. He added that the National Bank of Greece is focusing on the retail market, offering consumer and personal loans, while remaining active in the mortgage sector. With the bank providing financing to more than 2,000 companies in Epirus and on Corfu, Arapoglou declared its interest in small and medium-sized businesses, while also noting the bank’s increasing relationship with large companies in the area. The National Bank of Greece also announced yesterday that on Thursday, July 29, immediately after the closing of the Athens Stock Exchange, it will announce its own as well as parent company National Bank of Greece Group’s, second-quarter financial results.