ECONOMY

In Brief

Greek stock market investors rebound as buyers in May For the first month in 2005, Greek investors in the Athens Stock Exchange appeared as buyers and foreign ones as sellers, if only marginally, according to the Central Securities Depository’s data for May. Non-residents’ percentage fell to 37.58 percent in May from 37.87 in April and the difference between sales and purchases was no more than 30 million euros. Their share in the FTSE-20 index dropped to 43.93 percent from 44.31 percent in April, while Greek investors accounted for 55.85 percent of turnover in the blue chip index, showing a higher rise than the rest of the market. Hyundai and Opel sales rise but total purchases fall in May Car sales in Greece continued their decline in May, losing 3.2 percent year-on-year, and 9.6 percent from April, dropping to 23,733 units sold, according to the Association of Motor Vehicle Importers-Representatives (SEAA) data. In the year’s first five months, total sales were at 127,850 cars, down by 5.2 percent from 134,888 units in January-May 2004. Hyundai led with 12,974 cars sold in the five-month period, up 8.1 percent from last year, followed by Opel with 10,917 cars and a 24 percent rise and by Toyota, last year’s leader, who fell to 10,499 units sold posting a 27 percent decline. Aegean Park The Sierra-Haragionis consortium presented yesterday its revamped proposal for the development of the Aegean Park shopping center at Neo Faliro, next to the Karaiskaki soccer ground. The center is supposed to cover 75,000 square meters and include a market, 11 cinema screens, commercial stores and catering and entertainment spaces. The consortium will cover 30 percent of the 300-million-euro investment, with the rest coming from foreign banks’ credit. If this proposal is rejected by the Municipality of Piraeus, Sonae Sierra warned the company that it will abandon the project. Gov’t bond Greece’s Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) said yesterday it sold 1.8 billion euros of 10-year, 3.7 percent government bonds, maturing July 20, 2015, at a weighted average yield of 3.41 percent. The settlement date is June 10. (Reuters) Minoan Lines Ferry operator Minoan Lines narrowed its first-quarter loss to 7.8 million euros ($9.60 million) on revenue growth of about 11 percent to 34.3 million euros, it said in a statement yesterday. Minoan Lines had a 9.8-million-euro loss in the year-ago period. The firm reported this year’s first-quarter results under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) stood at 5.7 million euros, up about 20 percent. (Reuters) Misleading ads The Advertising Self-Regulation Council has ordered telecom providers Telepassport and Vivodi to change their ad campaigns, after discovering they offered misleading information to consumers. Within five days the two companies must change their print and broadcast advertising about rates, which were deemed exaggerated or not realistic.