ECONOMY

In Brief

Collective pay pacts are out of tune with the times, says NBG Collective pay pacts for the banking sector as a whole are out of tune with the present competitive environment in the industry, National Bank of Greece (NBG) President Takis Arapoglou said in an internal circular to employees. «It no longer makes sense to negotiate collectively along with our competitors. The strategy and the objectives of NBG have now changed, compared with previous years and with other banks. Each bank has a different corporate culture, which makes differentiation necessary,» he said. He added that sectoral agreements by definition tend to equate strong rivals and have no point; besides sector pacts are just as good. Existing staff privileges and benefits will not be touched, Arapoglou pledged. Yield of Greek bond increases above German equivalent’s LONDON (Reuters) – Greece’s planned increase to its 4.5 percent bond due Sept. 2037 is expected to total 4 billion euros ($4.80 billion) and yield 39.5 points over the equivalent Bunds, said a banker familiar with the deal yesterday. The Greek government said last week it had mandated Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Lehman Brothers and National Bank of Greece to manage the deal. The 2037 bond is Greece’s longest outstanding bond, according to Reuters data. Greece holds an A1 credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service and A ratings from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. Aegean Airlines Privately operated Aegean Airlines carried a total of 4,007,515 passengers last year, an increase of 12.3 percent on 2004 and beating its own forecast. The rise is attributed to Aegean’s aggressive pricing policy and was led by a 22 percent increase in tickets for international flights. Domestic flight passengers increased by 8.6 percent. The company announced a 2-euro surcharge on tickets as fuel primage due to the high oil prices. Danone in Greece French dairy firm Danone is launching commercial operations in Greece, targeting the No. 1 spot in the yogurt sector within 10 years. Its local subsidiary president, Antonis Krontiras, said yesterday his firm will import and sell the parent company’s products in Greece, targeting a 5 percent market share this year and a turnover of 21 million euros. More UK flights Flyglobespan is the latest low-cost airline expanding to Greece, with flights linking Athens with London Stansted daily and with Glasgow once a week starting at end-May; fares will be from 71 euros one way, including taxes. The four-year-old airline, which belongs to Scotland’s Globespan travel group, will also start a weekly flight from Iraklion to Glasgow, at 129 euros one way, including taxes.