In Brief

Alpha Bank restructures administration Alpha Bank yesterday announced the creation of a second post of general manager, with the appointment of Dimitris Matzounis to head retail banking sectors (branch network, marketing, cards and alternative networks) and the departments of general operations, real estate, information technology and personnel. Constantinos Kyriakopoulos remains general manager of the departments of corporate finance, merchant marine finance, international operations, treasury, investment and asset management. The change is part of an organizational restructuring which also provides for a post of chief financial officer who will head the accounting and risk evaluation departments. The bank also announced a voluntary retirement program for senior staff with 35 years in service who are older than 60. Bulgarian assembly approves loan for Kozloduy The Bulgarian Parliament yesterday approved a contract with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for 100 million euros to finance the closure by 2006 of two units of the Kozloduy nuclear power station which are considered antiquated and dangerous. A ruling party spokesman said in negotiations with the European Commission that Bulgaria would seek to maintain the operation of two other units of the same station. Central bank unfreezes deposits The Bank of Greece yesterday announced the unfreezing – probably as of May 1- of about 1.2 billion euros of interest-free commercial bank deposits that had been accumulated for state-guaranteed loans to small manufacturers. The move is expected to boost market liquidity and facilitate banks in expanding lending. Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis recently urged banks to become friendlier to small businesses. Steel complaints In an open letter to six Cabinet ministers, the Greek Steel Importers-Exporters Association yesterday voiced concern over the assignment of metal constructions for the Olympic Games to foreign contractors, emphasizing «the conspicuous marginalization of all (domestic) business sectors» and the «medium- to long-term negative repercussions of these choices.» SEV resignation Federation of Greek Industries (SEV) Executive President Eleftherios Antonakopoulos yesterday submitted his resignation, after recently being approved as new managing director of OTE Telecom. His post will be assumed by the SEV chairman of the board, Odysseas Kyriakopoulos. New futures The shares of Alpha Bank and Intracom will be launched in futures trading on the Athens Derivatives Exchange as of Tuesday, April 2, according to a press release yesterday. They will be added to those of National Bank, OTE telecoms, Panafon and Coca-Cola. Island connections The Merchant Marine Ministry said in a press release yesterday that «no island and no route will be left without a coastal shipping connection,» according to the new schedule for the period April 1-October 31, 2002.

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