Athens and Nicosia launch joint stock-trading platform NICOSIA (AFP) – Cyprus and Greece yesterday launched a landmark joint trading system in which investors in one country can buy or sell shares in the other. The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Athens Stock Exchange now operate on a single trading platform, allowing Cypriot and Greek investors access to both markets. Authorities hope the move will help promote the CSE and entice a wider pool of institutional investors with much-needed foreign funds. CSE Chairman Akis Kleanthous called yesterday’s launch an «historic day» for the Cyprus bourse, allowing the Nicosia exchange to keep trading hours in line with the rest of Europe from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are some 140 companies listed on the CSE, compared to 350 registered on the Athens market. «This venture allows investors to trade in any company they want but only in euros,» Kleanthous told state radio. Thomas Cook sees German tourism market stagnating in 2007 FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Tourism firm Thomas Cook said yesterday it saw stagnation in the German tourism market next summer. «The market will probably stagnate,» Peter Fankhauser, member of Thomas Cook’s management board, said. Europe’s second-largest tourism company, which is jointly owned by airline Deutsche Lufthansa and retailer KarstadtQuelle, also said demand at its main brand Neckermann this summer had been worse than expected, mainly due to fewer bookings in Turkey due to recent attacks. Helios sets Cypriot airline ajet, formerly Helios Airways, said in Nicosia yesterday it would stop flying within the next three months after incurring financial losses since a Helios airliner crashed into a Greek hillside last year, killing all 121 on board. «Ajet wishes to advise all passengers that it will be discontinuing its flying program within the next three months,» said a brief ajet statement without elaborating. Duty-Free purchases No limits exist on purchases from Duty Free Shops in any Greek airport, despite restrictions on hand-luggage items. The listed firm said in a statement yesterday that «nothing has changed» and travelers should «feel free to purchase.» At Athens airport, especially for liquid or gel products, where restrictions apply, carrier bags will be sealed to be reopened after arrival at the destination. Retail sales up, inflation down Greece’s retail sales by volume rose 10.1 percent year-on-year in August, slowing down from a 10.7 percent annual pace in July, data compiled by the country’s statistics service (NSS) showed yesterday. Retail sales by revenues rose 13.1 percent year-on-year in August after a 14.4 percent rise in the previous month. Producer price inflation decelerated to a 3.6 percent annual pace in September from 6.7 percent in the previous month. Yogurt to Italy Listed dairy firm Kri-Kri is expanding into Italy in association with Rome-based Sedis SRL. Kri-Kri will promote its yogurt products named «Yogood» at selected supermarkets, aiming at full coverage of the Italian market.