ECONOMY

In Brief

Isaac Hunt lays out countermeasures after Enron The conflict of interest between analysts and accountants in the services they provide to firms is accentuated because their auditing fees are lower than their advisory services, visiting US Securities and Exchange Commissioner Isaac Hunt said in an address to the Greek Capital Market Commission in Athens yesterday. He said the American authorities currently looking into possible ways of dealing with the phenomenon favor a tightening of supervisory procedures, imposing sanctions, better cooperation between federal and state supervisory authorities and legislative provisions separating the activities of auditing firms and augmenting transparency. Hunt also said measures to prevent the possible repercussions of analysts’ reports on the market process would aim to boost the transparency of analysts’ transactions and the way they compile their reports. Union chief rebuffs employers’ criticism of pension reform The employers’ claim that the recently finalized arrangements on social security reform lack boldness and do not really amount to reform as they augment rather than reduce deficits is unfounded, the GSEE labor union’s chairman, Christos Polyzogopoulos, said yesterday. «Let them submit their own solutions, which must be viable and socially fair. Do they perhaps know of any other solutions which do not reduce pensions and do not increase retirement ages and social security contributions?» he asked. He urged employers to recall how their own inadequate organization and mismanagement often deprives the social security system of resources. Silver&Baryte Minerals group Silver&Baryte said yesterday first-quarter group pretax profit fell 2.4 percent year-on-year to 3.95 million euros. First-quarter group turnover was 65.6 million euros, down 1.5 percent from the same period a year ago. Without elaborating, the company said it remains cautious about its full-year 2002 estimates due to the lack of any solid signs of a recovery in the global markets it participates in. Its shares eased 0.87 percent to 6.84 euros on the Athens bourse. (Reuters) Papademos’s debut Incoming European Central Bank Vice President Lucas Papademos will make his debut as the bank’s number two at the Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Luxembourg next Monday. The ECB press office said Papademos will be filling in for President Wim Duisenberg, who will be attending an International Monetary Conference in Montreal on June 2-4. The Greek central bank governor was nominated by European Union finance ministers last month and will succeed current number two Frenchman Christian Noyer, whose four-year term ends tomorrow. (Reuters) Hellas Jet Cyprus Airways will launch a Greek subsidiary with Greek and other European partners in April 2003, managing director Haris Loizidis said yesterday. The new company, to be named Hellas Jet, will be based at Athens’s airport and will service European destinations at low cost and with particular emphasis on departures and arrivals on time, he said. «We expect a response from the government regarding our demands by tomorrow [today],» he said. The general council of ADEDY is scheduled to meet tomorrow to decide the next course of action.