ECONOMY

In Brief

Shipowners call for more resolute measures Yiannis Lyras, president of the Union of Greek Shipowners (EEE), said yesterday recently announced measures for merchant shipping «reflected a broad and realistic political will for the first time after many years,» but «could not prevent adverse developments if implemented in a piecemeal fashion.» He added that a resolute political initiative was required to treat shipping as a dynamic factor in the economy, capable of boosting social cohesion and the country’s position internationally. Meanwhile, Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Anomeritis said that applications by coastal shipping companies had already covered about 92 percent of routes envisaged under the plan for the deregulating the industry as of November 2002. The islands apparently remaining outside the preferences of operators were Nisyros, Tilos, Symi, Sikinos, Anafi, Donousa, Koufonissia, Schinousa, Irakleia, Fournoi and Aghios Efstratios. Anomeritis ruled out the possibility that any island would remain without a ferry service. Liberalization of car retailing in EU brought forward The European Commission proposed on Tuesday that the date for the liberalization of the retail car market must be brought forward to October 1, 2002. The new Regulation, which is expected to be introduced on that date after submission to the European Parliament, essentially abolishes the practice of distribution through exclusive representatives, enabling the consumer to buy his favorite car from any dealer offering the best terms. Dealers will be able to advertise and sell their brands anywhere in the EU, over the Internet or even through supermarket chains. Car importers said the measure is likely to increase pretax prices in the medium term. Five-year bond launched Greece yesterday launched a 4-billion euro, five-year bond, lead managers for the deal said. The deal is due April 19, 2007 and will be priced to yield 28-29 basis points over the January 2007 Bund. The lead managers are HSBC, Lehman Brothers, Piraeus Bank and Schroder Salomon Smith Barney. Last month Greece announced plans for four new government bonds of three, five 10 and 20 years’ maturity in 2002. Greece is rated A2 by Moody’s Investors Service, A by Standard & Poor’s and A by Fitch. (Reuters) Miller briefed on tourism US Ambassador Thomas Miller yesterday was briefed on the privatization program of Hellenic Tourist Properties (ETA) during a visit to Deputy Development Minister Dimitris Georgakopoulos. The two men also discussed possible US investment in Greek tourism, and the latter’s promotion in the US. Intracom wins bank tender Telecom and software manufacturer Intracom yesterday announced that it won the international tender for the study and implementation of an integrated information system for the Post Office Savings Bank (Tahydromiko Tamieftirio). The project, to last 30 months, will be based on Intracom’s «Profits» program for banks which includes provisions for 24-hour online service, as well as ATM, Internet and phone banking facilities.