ECONOMY

In Brief

EU Commission gives notice on directive in preparation for IAS Greece is among seven European Union members which the Commission has warned to incorporate into national accounting rules its EC 2001/65 directive on the application of the method for the «reasonable» evaluation of enterprises, or face being referred to the European Court. The directive dictates that member states allow or require all or some categories of enterprises to account for certain financial instruments, including derivatives, at a reasonable value. The aim of the directive is to facilitate the application of International Accounting Standard (IAS) 39. The Commission is to decide within 2004 whether to make the application of IAS 39 compulsory for all listed firms as of next year. OTE goes for absorption of Internet subsidiary OTE Telecom will pursue the buyout of its Internet service provider business OTEnet, in which it now owns around 80 percent, an OTE source said yesterday. The source said the board of directors made the decision at a Wednesday meeting as part of a drive to rationalize the group. «It was decided to talk with National Bank over its 10 percent stake in OTEnet,» the source said, adding that OTE would then look to buying the remaining 10 percent, currently owned by Greek universities and research institutes. «For those subsidiaries that are worth it, we obviously want to have more control, for others, we might even have to consider getting out,» the source said. (Reuters) DEPA The Russo-German consortium of Gazprom and Ruhr Gas have indicated in a letter to Greece’s Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) a renewed interest in a 35 percent stake in the utility, only days before it is expected to reach a deal with Spain’s Gas Natural, sources said. The two companies had pulled out at an early stage of the bidding process, leaving Gas Natural as the only candidate. Yogurt Friesland Hellas, leading importer of evaporated milk under the Nounou label, is now targeting a 10 percent share of the yogurt market after formally launching its 15-million-euro factory in Patras yesterday. The plant has an annual capacity of 15,000 tons of yogurt which will be marketed in four types under the Nounou label. Managing Director Ioannis Theotokas said the Greek yogurt market is growing at a rate of 8-10 percent annually and the company will consider expanding the investment, depending on sales and exports to northern Europe. Friesland Hellas reported net income of 11.6 million euros from sales of 201.4 million in 2003. Emporiki bond Emporiki Bank mandated Alpha Bank, Morgan Stanley and National Bank of Greece to sell its debut euro lower-tier two-bond issue, the lead managers said yesterday. The transaction will be a floating rate note with a 10-year maturity, callable after the fifth year, the banks said. A banking source close to the deal said the benchmark transaction will be around 200 million euros. The deal will be launched in the near future subject to market conditions, the leads said. (Reuters)