ECONOMY

In Brief

Investors prefer long-term bonds The volume of Greek government debt traded on the central bank’s electronic system (HDAT) eased to 42.9 billion euros in August from 47.1 billion in July, the Bank of Greece said yesterday. Daily average turnover fell to 1.95 billion euros from 2.24 billion. The central bank said investor interest mainly focused on the long end of the yield curve, particularly paper with remaining maturities of between seven and 10 years, which absorbed 69 percent of overall volume. The most actively traded bond was the 10-year benchmark, which recorded 19.6 billion euros worth of transactions. Government paper yields fell in July, particularly long-term maturities, in line with the rest of the eurozone. The yield on 10-year paper dropped by 14 basis points to 4.11 percent, with 30-year paper down 17 bps to 4.49 percent. At the short end of the curve, the decline in yields was smaller. The yield of three-year bonds declined by eight basis points to 3.65 percent. The average monthly yield spread between Greek and German 10-year benchmark bonds was steady at 31 bps in August. (Reuters) Veteran banker appointed new Bank of Cyprus chairman NICOSIA (Reuters) – Bank of Cyprus appointed career banker Eleftherios Ioannou as its new chairman yesterday, replacing Vassilis Rologis, who resigned unexpectedly last week. Ioannou, 73, a member of the bank’s board, was elected unanimously. He started his career at Bank of Cyprus, the island’s central bank, before joining Lombard Natwest (Cyprus), which later became Alpha Bank (Cyprus). He was chairman of Alpha Bank (Romania) from 2000 to 2004. Rologis’s departure from the bank came just over a month after Bank of Cyprus withdrew a bid to acquire Emporiki Bank of Greece. Although the bank has remained tight-lipped, it has been widely speculated the departure was spurred by the fallout from the withdrawal of the bid, then blamed on legal concerns about the liabilities of Emporiki’s pension fund. IPO Bulgarian firm Chimimport launched an initial public offering yesterday for shares worth 44.3 million leva (22.7 million euros) over the next two weeks. Chimimport said it would issue 11.08 million shares, or 8.5 percent of the firm’s capital, at an issue price of 4.0 leva per share. The company plans to use part of the funds to increase its capital to 130 million leva, from 118 million at present. It will also boost the capital of its fully owned Central Cooperative Bank, Bulgaria’s 12th largest and the issue’s lead manager. The IPO will take 14 days in all, it said. Chimimport’s portfolio of 44 companies includes air carrier Hemus Air, which is vying in the sell-off of state flag-carrier Bulgaria Air and the Bulgarian River Shipping Operator. It also operates firms in finance, insurance, banking, trade and consulting. Chimimport is 98.09 percent owned by the holding company Chimimport Invest. (Reuters)