In Brief

HSBC says eyes first Greek CMBS deal LONDON (Reuters) – HSBC Holdings Plc said it planned to sell 280 million euros of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) in its first Greek commercial property securitization. In a statement, Europe’s biggest bank said it had granted Lamda Development unit Lamda Olympia Village a 280-million-euro commercial mortgage, which it would refinance in the capital markets via HSBC’s NEMUS CMBS conduit. HSBC said it was the first-ever Greek CMBS loan. A date for the roadshow has not yet been set, a bank spokesman said. CMBS are a type of bond that offer investors the chance to invest in real estate while not owning buildings directly. CMBS also provide property companies access to cheaper debt finance than conventional loans. The bonds issued by NEMUS will be secured against the cash flow generated by The Mall Athens, one of the biggest shopping centers in the Greek capital, which is let to more than 200 tenants. Ministry projects hefty raises in pensions The introduction of the minimum national pension as of 2009, announced by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Sunday, is seen as bringing substantial raises to the incomes of the retired self-employed, widows or those receiving invalid pensions, sources said. It will also eliminate distortions arising from the so-called special pensioners solidarity supplement (EKAS) for the lowest paid. According to the most prevalent scenario, the Social Security Foundation’s (IKA) main pension plus EKAS will total 730 euros in 2009. The total cost of the plan will be around 1.5 billion euros. However, the minimum national pension will leave out retired farmers, who will receive 330 euros monthly as of next year. Kathimerini Kathimerini publishing company said yesterday it will pay out a dividend of 0.30 euros per share for 2006. The dividend, due to share owners until the end of yesterday’s trading session, will be paid out as of July 5. «The company expects 2007 to be even better than 2006 due to an increase in revenues from shipping activities and the growth in publishing activities,» said company chairman Aristides Alafouzos. Turnover is projected to exceed 130 million euros. Kathimerini is implementing a 20.1-million-euro investment program, mainly in state-of-the-art printing equipment. Regulator sentenced A court in Cyprus handed down a suspended prison sentence to the former head of the island’s Competition Commission yesterday on charges of forgery relating to TV rights over soccer fixtures. Christodoulos Tselepos was accused of falsifying minutes in a case under examination in 2004 between closed-circuit Lumiere Television and the Cyprus Football Association. It was alleged the apparent forgery favored the deal, which was then challenged by other private television stations. In its verdict, the first instance district court in Nicosia accepted an argument by defense lawyers that Tselepos had no financial gain from the affair. Tselepos’s six-month jail term was suspended for three years. Tselepos, a lawyer and also at one point head of the island’s referees’ association, left his position as chairman at the Competition Commission in 2005. (Reuters) Allianz merger The Private Insurance Committee approved yesterday the merging of the two insurance companies of the Allianz group in Greece, Allianz General Insurances SA and Allianz Life Insurances SA, with the former absorbing the latter. The new firm will be named Allianz Hellas Insurance SA.

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