ECONOMY

OTEestate ready to assume active role in the market

OTEestate, an OTE Telecom subsidiary, is set to become an active player in the real estate market. An extraordinary OTE shareholders meeting called for next week is expected to approve the transfer to OTE of several pieces of real estate. In return, OTEestate will increase its capital by issuing 153,672,510 shares, of a par value of 2.93 euros each, all of which will be transferred to the parent company. This transfer was supposed to have taken place several months ago. However, OTE wanted to avoid paying taxes on the transfer; this was made possible through a special legal amendment. The real estate to be transferred includes 2,255 buildings, with a total surface of 1.143 million square meters, and 2,282 plots of land measuring a total of 7.89 million square meters. It is estimated that these could fetch between 550 and 600 billion drachmas (1.61 to 1.76 billion euros) on the market. Among OTEestate’s priorities is to develop two large plots of land, totaling 58.8 hectares, close to the Athens Airport at Spata. On another plot, 12.2 hectares in area, in Pallini, east of Athens, construction firm Hellenic Technodomiki is building houses for 1,800 media representatives who will attend the 2004 Athens Olympics. Turkey is currently implementing a $19 billion IMF-backed economic program and is in negotiations for a new three-year standby accord that would bring an additional $10 billion of loans this year.