ECONOMY

In Brief

CosmOte and Intracom head for Derivatives Exchange Two more blue chips, CosmOte mobile operator and Intracom IT manufacturer, will be added by month’s end to the stock futures of the National Bank of Greece (NBG), OTE Telecom, Vodafone and Coca-Cola HBC which are presently traded on the Athens Derivatives Exchange (ADEX), sources say. ADEX is said to plan the addition of two stock futures every two months. The sources also say that plans to launch currency futures and covert warrants are near completion. A total of 4,367,366 contracts (excluding stock repos) were traded on ADEX in 2001, representing a 129-percent rise in terms of volume and a 50-percent increase in terms of value. The number of registered investors rose 187 percent to 9,133 by end-December from a year earlier. Profitability of insurance industry on the decline The total profitability of the 110 insurance companies active in Greece fell 51.76 percent to 167.57 million euros in 2000 in relation to 1999, according to the final figures issued by the Association of Insurance Companies yesterday. New premium revenue of Greek life insurance companies fell 1.39 percent to 1.32 billion euros, but a 17-percent rise in new general insurance premiums lifted the total 6.79 percent to 2.57 billion euros. Total compensations paid in all sectors rose 14.18 percent to 1.59 billion euros. Initial indications are that a further 2.5-percent fall occurred in new premium revenue in the life insurance sector last year. Romanian 2001 industrial output up BUCHAREST – Romania’s industrial output climbed by 8.5 percent in 2001, supported by rises in manufacturing and extractive industries, a National Statistics Board (INS) report said yesterday. INS data showed manufacturing industry climbed by 9.9 percent last year despite a 0.5-percent decrease in durables production. The extractive sector grew by 5.2 percent, while the power sector saw a 1-percent decrease. Romania recorded a higher-than-expected growth of 4.9 percent in 2001 after 1.6-percent growth in 2000.(Reuters) Demand for bonds up The total value of state bonds traded on the electronic secondary market more than doubled to 42 billion euros in January 2002, compared to a monthly average of 20 billion in 2001. Interest was strongest in the 10-year bond maturing May 2011, in which transactions totaled 5.19 billion euros. The yield spread of the 10-year bond from the respective benchmark German security fell to 37 bps in January from 38 bps in December. Greek-Turkish cooperation Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Kursad Tuzmen and Greek counterpart Andreas Loverdos this morning will head respective delegations in the first session of the two countries’ Joint Ministerial Economic Cooperation Committee, after the signing in recent years of nine economic and trade agreements. The talks, to be held in the Zappeion Hall, will focus on issues of trade, energy and industry. Analysts, such as McKinsey consultants, say the basic problem with portals is not the huge amount of investment but the inability to find revenue sources. Investment per user remains at lower levels than that of competing television channels and newspapers. But revenues are also much lower.