ECONOMY

In Brief

Exports slide once again in the first three quarters of 2004 Data released yesterday by the Panhellenic Exporters’ Association show that during the first nine months of 2004 exports fell 1.1 percent while imports surged 7.6 percent compared to the same period in 2003. Greek products are losing market share around the world, with the exception of the Middle East and North Africa. The situation is worst in agricultural products, where the value of exports declined 16.2 percent while imports increased 5 percent. For the first time ever, agricultural exports accounted for less than 20 percent of Greece’s total exports. Exports of industrial goods increased 2.6 percent and account for 66.5 percent of all Greek exports. Intralot teams up with Hilton Group to bid for state, private lotteries Gaming systems operator Intralot is to team up with British hotel and gaming company Hilton Group Plc to tender for state and private lotteries, it announced yesterday. «The two parties have agreed to cooperate on projects concerning state lottery privatizations, to participate in tenders issued by state and private lotteries and to negotiate directly with potential clients,» Intralot said in a statement. The world’s third-largest lottery supplier by sales said the alliance with Hilton would target the lottery, betting, casino and gaming markets worldwide. It did not provide other details. (Reuters) New chairman Fixed-line phone company Tellas has appointed the chairman of power firm Public Power Corporation as the new head of its board after the current head resigned. Yiannis Palaiokrassas succeeds Stergios Nezis, the chief executive of PPC, who had headed the board of directors since the launch of Tellas in February 2003, Tellas said in a statement yesterday. The company, a joint venture between PPC and Italian telecoms firm Wind, is seen as the most serious rival to former monopoly OTE. Nezis resigned to focus on expanding PPC’s presence in the Balkans, Tellas said. (Reuters) Change at PDMA The Economy and Finance Ministry’s Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) announced yesterday that Spyros Papanicolaou will be its new general director, replacing outgoing Christophoros Sardelis, an appointee of the previous Socialist government. Papanicolaou has worked at the Bank of Greece as an international relations manager. (Reuters) Shutdown Refiner Hellenic Petroleum will partly shut down two refineries in the spring for two to three weeks for planned maintenance work, a company official said yesterday. «We will shut down the Elefsis refinery around end-March to early April for about 20 days,» spokesman Evangelos Stranis said. The 100,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) plant is west of Athens. Greece’s largest refiner will partially shut down its 67,000-bpd Thessaloniki refinery for about 16 to 17 days in May for maintenance work, Stranis said. «The exact dates will depend on market conditions. There will be no disruption to business as the shutdowns are for minor maintenance work,» he added. Motor Oil, No. 2 in the market, said on Wednesday it would shut down its Theodori plant for a week at the end of March for the installation of a hydrocracking unit and other planned maintenance work. Plants regularly carry out maintenance in the spring when heating oil demand drops as temperatures rise, and well ahead of peak summer gasoline demand. (Reuters)