Sawiris on lookout for local bank

Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, whose Weather Investments controls Greece’s second-largest telecom company Tellas, said yesterday he was looking at buying a Greek bank as part of plans to develop phone banking. Sawiris last year bought out Tellas and joined its operations with his Wind Hellas mobile phone operator in an effort to boost market share and diversify products available to customers. «We are actively searching in the banking area to develop (telephone and mobile banking),» Sawiris said at an economic conference. «If we don’t find one, we will come to an agreement with an existing bank. We will introduce mobile banking by the end of the year,» he said. Sawiris also said that although Greece was a profitable place in which to to invest, the country needed to do more to promote itself for foreign investment to really take off. «Some people don’t even know (Greece) has a stock exchange. The country has all the necessary infrastructure after the Olympics, (but) it needs to market and advertise the available opportunities,» Sawiris said. Greece is aware it has fallen behind in promoting investment opportunities and will move to address existing problems. «We are planning an aggressive campaign to increase international awareness of Greece,» Dimitris Pazaitis, CEO of the country’s investment agency, said. (Reuters)

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