In Brief

Foreign arrivals increase at main tourism destinations International arrivals at Athens airport increased annually by 12.58 percent in between January and May 2005, the first year after the 2004 Olympic Games in Greece, according to the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE). Overall figures from eight Greek airports show a 3.58 percent rise, with Rhodes leading with 14 percent. «The increase in the country’s recognizability due to the Olympics and the advertising campaign, which was nothing like before,» contributed in the rise, said Stavros Andreadis, the SETE president. Also, preliminary data for June are positive for Thessaloniki, Rhodes and Iraklion, while Corfu remains in decline. Intracom denies rumors of plant relocation Telecoms equipment maker Intracom does not plan to move abroad, its chairman and single biggest stakeholder said yesterday, a day after the company said it was considering such a step to cut costs. «As stated by Chairman Socrates Kokkalis, Intracom has no plans to transfer its headquarters outside Greece,» the country’s largest provider of telecommunications, information technology and electronic defense systems said in a stock market filing. Kokkalis holds a 27.26 percent stake. Intracom said it was considering various ways to reinforce its competitiveness. On Tuesday, in a stock market filing, the company warned of flagging domestic sales, delays in tenders and competition from lower-priced products from China and said it might be forced to move abroad. Analysts have said relocation to a country with a lower tax regime and lower costs may boost the company, which reported lower-than-expected first-quarter results last week. (Reuters) Alpha Bank UBS reduced its price target on shares of Alpha Bank to 26 from a previous 27.5 euros, maintaining its «buy 1» rating on the stock, it said in a research note yesterday. «Our price target downgrade reflects our 7 percent earnings per share (EPS) downward revision during 2005-7. Our price target is based on 14.5x adjusted 2006 earnings. Earnings are adjusted for optimal capital structure, assuming a tier 1 ratio of 7 percent,» UBS said. «The two key sources to our earnings downgrades are related to a somewhat lower net interest (NII) and commission income progression, as well as marginally higher cost,» the note said. (Reuters) Turkish opportunities Officials from EFG Istanbul Securities, Eurobank’s subsidiary in Turkey, yesterday presented the prospects and investment opportunities of the Turkish economy to 90 Greek entrepreneurs and portfolio managers. Eurobank’s alternate CEO, Nikos Karamouzis, stressed that Turkey offers considerable openings as well as risks and added that foreign investors are focusing on the country. With borrowing at just 21 percent of GDP (against 37 percent in other emerging markets), Turkey’s banking sector has great growth potential, EFG Istanbul officials said. Their company ranks 15th among 111 stockbrokerage firms in Turkey, with a turnover of $9 billion and pretax profits of $4.5 million in 2004.

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