ECONOMY

In Brief

Political leaders called upon to offer solutions on social security The leaders of the opposition parties and the secretary-general of the ruling Socialists, Costas Skandalidis, will be guest speakers next Wednesday at the National Conference on Social Security organized by the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE). GSEE, which strongly opposed a social security reform package unveiled earlier this year by the government, yesterday sent a 10-point questionnaire to which it expects the speakers to reply. Qualcomm subsidiary interested in buying Bulgaria’s analog operator SOFIA – Bulgaria’s analog mobile phone operator Mobikom said yesterday that Inquam, a US-based subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc, was interested in buying a majority stake in the company. Inquam is interested in acquiring a majority stake in Mobikom, Mobikom’s Finance Director Richard Loweth told a news conference. Mobikom’s Internet Director Tim Buisseret said Inquam planned to use Mobikom’s infrastructure to develop a CDMA-standard network and exploit the existing frequency band. Based on a technology with decades-old U.S. military origins, CDMA (code division multiple access) was developed for mobile phones by Qualcomm and saw its first commercial launch in 1995. Backers of CDMA say it offers a cheaper, faster upgrade to high-speed Internet-capable third-generation (3G) networks than its GSM rival. Bulgaria, with a population of some eight million, now has two digital GSM operators: MobilTel, owned by Israeli diamond merchant Lev Leviev and GloBul, owned by Greece’s OTE Telecom, which launched operations on Monday. (Reuters) No longer criminals. Greek citizens and permanent residents driving cars with foreign plates will no longer be considered as smugglers but will be called upon to pay a fine, according to the revised customs code submitted to Parliament yesterday. The new code also reduces fines for belated payments of the classification dues by 50 percent. Extension. Mobile operator Stet Hellas said its board of directors had approved a 10-day extension of an 88 million euro rights offering, following last week’s attacks on the US. The subscription period would now close on October 1 and the rights offer would close on October 8, it said. The company will issue 10,593,220 new registered shares at 8.31 euros each. After the capital increase, its new outstanding share total will be 83,193,220. Stet Hellas said the proceeds would finance the acquisition of second- and third-generation mobile phone licenses, auctioned in Greece in July. Stet bought additional second-generation spectrum and a third-generation license in the auction, paying a total of 173.1 million euros ($160 million). (Reuters) Replaced. The Athens Stock Exchange announced that Interamerican has been removed from its benchmark general share index, following the company’s acquisition by Eureko. A replacement for Interamerican will be picked by the index committee during its semi-annual review, the bourse said. A constituent of the FTSE/ASE-20 index, Interamerican was replaced in this blue-chip index by recent listing Motor Oil. The bourse said Motor Oil joined the FTSE/ASE-20 with a free float factor of 20 percent.. (Reuters) The Capers continued on a roll yesterday with increases across the board.