ECONOMY

In Brief

National Bank appoints Tamvakakis, Rapanos The board of National Bank yesterday appointed Apostolos Tamvakakis as new chief executive officer, replacing Takis Arapoglou, and Vassilis Rapanos as new chairman. Tamvakakis, an executive with NBG in the past, was in charge of strategy with the Latsis group and served as CEO at real estate firm Lamda Development. Rapanos chaired a council of economic advisers under a previous Socialist government. Hochtief IPO not selling well; may be scaled back Hochtief AG, which is selling its concessions division in Germany’s biggest initial public offering in two years, has orders for about half of the stock on sale, said two people familiar with the transaction. Germany’s largest construction company may decide whether to abandon or scale back the 1-billion-euro ($1.5 billion) IPO when the deadline for submitting orders expires today, according to the sources, who declined to be identified because the talks are confidential. Hochtief, based in Essen, Germany, is seeking to sell as much as 49 percent of the unit, which operates airports, toll roads and schools. The shares are on sale for 24 euros to 29 euros each. Christian Gerhardus, a spokesman for Hochtief, declined to comment. Chief Executive Herbert Luetkestratkoetter told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in an interview published November 29 that Hochtief «will not sell at any price.» Hochtief dropped as much as 2.30 euros, or 4.4 percent, to 50.50 euros in Frankfurt. The stock has gained 79 percent in value in a year. The company has a market value of 3.58 billion euros. The construction company first said in August that it was considering an IPO for the unit, and aims to raise between 882 million euros and 1 billion euros in the share sale. (Bloomberg) Loan demand Demand for 12-month loans from the European Central Bank will jump this month as banks take advantage of the final unlimited offer, a survey of economists shows. The ECB, which may detail conditions for the loans tomorrow, will lend banks 150 billion euros ($227 billion) in the December 15 tender, according to the median of 19 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. That’s double the 75.2 billion euros banks drew in September, though less than half the 442 billion euros allotted in the first tender in June. The European Central Bank will offer the loans at a fixed 1 percent, its current benchmark rate, 18 of the economists said. The ECB has already signaled this month’s 12-month loans are likely to be the last as it starts to scale back its emergency lending to banks. With financial markets jittery after Dubai last week said it would seek to delay debt repayments, and Greece’s ballooning budget deficit pushing up its borrowing costs, European banks may take the opportunity to stock up on the European Central Bank’s cheap cash. (Bloomberg) Outlook improves Standard and Poor’s raised the credit rating outlook of Serbia and Bulgaria to stable from negative as the governments of the two nations rein in spending. Serbia’s BB- long-term sovereign rating was affirmed, Standard and Poor’s said in a report yesterday. That is the second-lowest investment grade, on a par with Turkey. Bulgaria’s long-term BBB rating, equal to Lithuania’s, Croatia’s and Russia’s, was affirmed in a separate report. (Bloomberg)