ECONOMY

In Brief

Technology stocks drag Cyprus bourse to two-year low NICOSIA – The Cyprus Stock Exchange hit a new 24-month low yesterday as its all-share index lost 1.27 percent, led by losses in the technology sector and Globalsoft in particular. A stable banking sector failed to keep the benchmark index afloat. The general index lost 1.91 points to end at 147.97 on a turnover of 6.9 million pounds ($10.9 million) and 13.7 million shares traded. The IT sector was the worst performer, its index losing 3.9 percent. Information technology stock Globalsoft plumbed new lows, down another 2.3 cents to end at a record low of 22.2 cents. Investors have been pulling out of the stock in reaction to news that Globalsoft’s American affiliate AremisSoft was delisted from the Nasdaq for failing to provide timely second-quarter figures. The FTSE/CySE index outperformed the broader market, losing just 0.49 percent to close at 566.03 points. Declining stocks outpaced advancing ones 115 to 33, with 22 unchanged on 170 traded. (Reuters) Non-binding offers for Parnitha casino expected by Friday Non-binding offers for a stake in the state-controlled casino on Mt. Parnitha will be submitted by Friday. More than 100 Greek and foreign enterprises have expressed an interest in buying 19.9 to 51 percent of Hellenic Casino Parnitha SA, according to Development Ministry sources. Another privatization, that of three marinas in the Attica area – in Piraeus, Palaio Faliron and Alimos – got underway yesterday, when interested companies started getting the tender prospectus published by the ministry. The government expects that private inspectors will spend over 35 billion drachmas to develop the marinas, which have a combined capacity of 1,800 vessels. Higher sales, lower profits. Sanyo Hellas Holdings announced that consolidated sales increased in the first half of the year by 92.3 percent, but profits declined by nearly half. Sales rose to 49.3 billion drachmas, from 25.6 billion in the first half of 2000, while profits declined to 1.96 billion drachmas from 3.8 billion. Sanyo is undertaking a consolidation of its numerous subsidiaries through absorption. Mutual funds. Fund manager Alico-Eurobank announced yesterday it has launched three new mutual funds – two equity growth funds and one balanced fund. Alico’s mid- and small-cap fund will invest in Greek stocks with a view to outperform the Athens bourse’s benchmark general share index. Its balanced fund will be 50 percent invested in Greek shares with the remainder in government bonds and cash. Alico’s international fund will be invested in European and US technology stocks, it said. (Reuters) Branches. NovaBank has opened two new branches in the cities of Larissa and Patras, bringing its total number of branches to 63 across Greece, the bank said in a statement yesterday. The bank said its goal is to increase its network to 90 branches by the end of 2001. NovaBank is a joint venture between insurer Interamerican and Portugal’s Banco Commercial Portugues. (Reuters)