ECONOMY

In Brief

Greek firms unprepared for International Accounting Standards Greek firms appear unprepared but willing to apply International Accounting Standards (IAS), according to a study by the Athens bourse and SOL Ernst & Young presented yesterday. The results show that 20 percent of the 167 companies questioned consider themselves ready to apply IAS, while the rest say they will need between two and three years to do so. The European Commission has issued a draft directive requiring listed companies to compile their financial statements according to IAS by 2005. In Greece this is expected to take place as of next year. The study also shows 60 percent of companies wanting an adequate transition period, while the rest believe application must be immediate. Thessaloniki refinery shut for maintenance Greece’s largest refinery group, Hellenic Petroleum, said yesterday it had shut down its 67,000 barrels per day Thessaloniki refinery for maintenance but that its larger Aspropyrgos plant was not likely to close in 2002. Hellenic shut down its northern Greek refinery near Thessaloniki, on January 20 for the renewal of the gasoline unit’s catalytic converter, a company spokesman said. The refinery is expected to be fully operational again by February 15. (Reuters) Vovos plans fly high Listed real estate developer Babis Vovos plans to build 70,000 sq.m. in buildings on own land and 30,000 sq.m. on other property in the next two years, officials said during a presentation at the Union of Institutional Investors yesterday. The company’s most important deals in 2001 were the contract for developing 2.7 hectares of land belonging to the Russian government in the Athens suburb of Halandri, the purchase of 1.1 hectares near Attiki Odos – now under construction – and the commencement of four important projects at central points in Athens. Targets for the next three years include the development of 3.2 hectares near the Olympic Village. The firm forecasts operating profits totaling about 50 billion drachmas for 2002 and 2003. Lannet deal with Bull Klonatex holding company member Lannet Telecommunications, the first private operator to launch fixed-line telephone services to households, has signed a commercial deal with Bull Advanced Technical Solution (ATS), which will promote and sell its services to existing as well as new clients. Lannet estimates the deal will boost its distribution network throughout the country. The company recently launched a 25-billion-drachma (over 73 million euros) investment program which includes an expansion of capacity for international services. Turnover is estimated at 4 billion drachmas (nearly 12 million euros) for 2001 and the company is targeting 5 percent of the telecoms market by 2005. Cotton prices up MEMPHIS, Tennessee – Greek cotton prices have been given a boost by increased demand, mainly from Turkish buyers along with those from the Far East, Cotton Outlook Ltd, an independent research organization specializing in the cotton market, said yesterday. Prices have reached in excess of 42 cents per lb, FOT, for lots equivalent to Box 4 White. (Reuters)