ECONOMY

In Brief

EasyGroup plans expansion to Greece through franchising UK-based easyGroup plans to expand to Greece by means of franchising, its chairman, Stelios Haji-Ioannou said in Athens yesterday. «The Greek market’s prospects have been considerably expanded after the country’s accession to the eurozone, but its particular characteristics (small size, seasonal tourism) make cooperation with local partners important,» he said in a speech at the Harvard Business School Club. Haji-Ioannou said his group’s success was based on the principle that you must share the wealth you create and the responsibilities that go with it. He said that personally he is more interested in the successful launching of a business idea than the running of an enterprise, and that the existence of a successful brand name significantly improves the prospects of a new scheme. A relationship of trust between customer and company is also key. «’I fight for you, so you must support me’ is the message a firm has to get across and put it into practice,» Haji-Ioannou said. Regulator sets terms for extra 2G spectrum sale The National Telecommunications and Posts Commission (EETT) said yesterday it issued a prospectus for its sale of additional second-generation mobile phone spectrum, saying the winners will need to pay the full amount within 20 days. EETT has set a minimum bid of 38.16 million euros for the remaining GSM 2×5 MHz spectrum due to be awarded at the end of July. CosmOTE, Greece’s biggest mobile operator by clients, said at the end of May it was reviewing the terms of the sale to determine whether it will bid. Analysts say CosmOTE is the likeliest contender for the additional spectrum after it was outbid for GSM spectrum that would have enhanced its roaming revenues at an auction last year. Submissions to participate are due on July 22, with the regulator announcing a shortlist of qualified participants on July 30. The auction is due to be held on July 31. (Reuters) FAGE The FAGE dairy company is planning to transfer its pasteurized milk unit from Metamorphossi, north of Athens, to Amyntaion, northwestern Greece, in order to free up space for new yogurt production lines and tap economies of scale as most milk is collected in northern Greece. FAGE said it considered but decided against the idea of acquiring a majority stake in the Thessaloniki-based Agno dairy, for which the Agricultural Bank had issued a tender but received no bids. FAGE also has a plant in Thessaloniki. Luck dividends Soccer pools and lottery company OPAP got shareholder approval yesterday for a 0.60 euro-per-share dividend for fiscal year 2001. Based on Thursday’s closing share price of 8.20 euros, the dividend yield stands at about 7.3 percent. The government said recently it planned to reduce its stake in the company by offering 19 percent of its shares to Greek investors in July as well as via a private placement to foreign institutional investors. (Reuters) Softex Deputy Labor Minister Lefteris Tziolas has called a meeting of workers, unions and management of Athens Paper Mill (Softex) for Tuesday, after the company’s announcement yesterday that it plans to lay off 420 workers from its plant in Drama. Theodore Ritsios, telecoms analyst at P&K Securities, said the introduction of call set-up charges will help to partially offset lower revenues from termination tariffs. He said CosmOTE will gain from the new charge in the case of calls lasting less than a minute.