ECONOMY

In Brief

After Olympics, consumers take gloomier view of finances The end of the Olympic Games seems to have brought concern and pessimism to Greeks about the financial prospects of their household and country, according to the results of the latest Consumer Confidence survey by GfK Market Analysis held in October. The majority of Greek people appear insecure, expecting a rise in prices and unemployment in the next 12 months, the survey found. They also appear reluctant to spend or indulge in expensive purchases such as houses or cars, while more than half say they only just make ends meet and 14 percent of them admit they live on «borrowed» or «ready» money. Confidence indices are showing a mixed picture: Those related to forecasts for household and national finances in the next 12 months show greater pessimism than in the March and June surveys; yet regarding the last 12 months, consumers say the situation has remained stable. The downturn this year, according to the research company, is probably due to excessive and short-term optimism from the Olympics, with people questioned now turning downbeat. Gov’t bonds make hefty gains in October Greek government bonds trading on the electronic secondary securities market (HDAT) recorded significant gains in October, according to Bank of Greece data released yesterday. Benchmark bond prices rose between 42 and 119 basis points (bps) with the highest price increase recorded by the 20-year benchmark bond (maturing on October 22, 2022) that closed at 115.93 (with a yield of 4.58 percent) at the end of October from 114.74 (with a yield of 4.67 percent) a month earlier. The 10-year benchmark bond price (maturity May 20, 2014) traded at 103.31 (4.07 percent) on October 29 from 102.32 (4.19 percent) at the end of September. The average monthly 10-year yield spread between the Greek and the German benchmark bonds rose slightly to 19 bps from 18 bps during the previous four months. The yield curve shifted downward while becoming steeper as yields at the short end of the curve (3-year maturity) fell 17 bps, whereas at the long end of the curve (20-year maturity) they declined by 9 bps. Market turnover was 106.52 billion euros. Istanbul IT forum The Federation of Hellenic Information Technology and Communications Enterprises (SEPE) and the IT Association of Turkey (TBV) are organizing the fourth Greek-Turkish IT and Teleco Forum in Istanbul on November 25 and 26. The event forms part of the European project «Information Society Initiative for Southeastern Europe.» Gulf business online A new website for Greek businesspeople interested in investing in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar has been created by the Hellenic Trade Center of the Greek embassy in Dubai, UAE. The site, at http://oeydubai.geoweb.ge, provides financial, trade and business information for the region in English and Greek. S&B Minerals group S&B boosted nine-month group pretax profit by 8.5 percent to 21.5 million euros, it said yesterday. Group sales grew 38.5 percent to 308.5 million euros.