ECONOMY

In Brief

Foreign inflows in Greek stocks reach 5.5 billion euros in 2006 Foreign funds were the net buyers of Greek shares last year, as in 2005, plowing in more than 5 billion euros, the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) said yesterday. The ASE said foreign inflows into equities rose 6 percent last year to reach 5.52 billion euros. By contrast, Greek investors were net sellers, the bourse said. Outflows reached 5.65 billion euros last year. The ASE’s total market capitalization rose 28.3 percent year-on-year in 2006 to reach 158 billion euros. The Athens bourse said foreign investors held 49.5 percent of the free-float in large-cap stocks with only 19.9 percent held by individual Greek investors. The participation of foreign investors has been steadily rising since 2002, when they owned 28.6 percent of the available free float. The picture reversed when looking at the bourse’s mid-cap and small-cap shares, with 13.2 percent of the free float held by foreigners and 56.2 percent owned by Greek individual investors. (Reuters) Greece seeks OTE options by end-February, says source The government wants its advisers to come up with options for the sale of its stake in the former phone monopoly OTE by the end of next month, a senior Finance Ministry official said yesterday. The government, which owns about 39 percent of OTE, wants to sell up to 20 percent to a European peer. «We are only looking for a strategic investor,» the official said. The government has picked Credit Suisse, UBS and EFG Eurobank to advise on the OTE sale to a foreign telecoms operator, saying a potential partner would participate in its management. On Thursday the advisers will brief Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis, who has said if a strategic investor is not found, the government will proceed to a placement. (Reuters, Kathimerini) 10-year bond Investors have placed about 3.5 billion euros of orders for Greece’s planned 10-year, 5-billion-euro bond in the four hours since order books opened, a banker familiar with the deal said in London yesterday. Price guidance for the deal, released earlier yesterday, remains at 28 to 31 basis points over Bunds, but the banker said it could be revised later in the day after a conference call. Earlier a second banker said the deal would be priced over the January 2017 Bund and was likely to conclude by tomorrow. Citigroup, Emporiki Bank, JP Morgan, Piraeus Bank and UniCredit Group are lead managers. (Reuters) J&P Avax contract Construction group J&P Avax signed a 9.7-million-euro contract to build a cultural center for the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation at 206 Pireos Street, south of the city center, the company said yesterday. Avax will build a complex containing a theater, 2 cinemas, exhibition halls, restaurants and offices as well as parking facilities. The project is to be completed in 550 days.