ECONOMY

In Brief

FESE looks to EU in quest for more transparency The Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE), a group representing 45 exchanges across Europe, has called on the assistance of the European Commission to help boost transparency and competitiveness in markets, it has said. Spyros Capralos, the president of FESE, met yesterday with EU Internal Markets Commissioner Michel Barnier to discuss ways of improving market supervision and creating a European regulatory framework that will secure competitive conditions across all exchanges. Capralos highlighted that FESE relies on the support of the European Commission to boost market transparency, FESE said in a statement. The two agreed to meet up regularly in the near future to discuss FESE’s proposals on revising MiFID, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. Greek-owned vessels fall for first time in five years The number of Greek-owned vessels in the world’s second-largest merchant shipping fleet fell for the first time in five years amid the biggest fall in ship values and the worst recession in over 80 years, according to Athens-based Petrofin Research. The number of Greek-owned ships dropped over 2 percent to 4,655 from 4,763, the first decline since 2005, Petrofin said in a report published yesterday on its website. Although vessel numbers fell, Greek shipowners took advantage of lower prices to buy newer and bigger ships with the average age of the Greek-owned fleet falling to 16.64 years from 17.6 years in 2009 and the average carrying capacity rising to 52,159 deadweight tons from 49,819 dwt, according to the report. (Bloomberg) Second tender Cyprus is close to announcing a second tender for gas and oil exploration rights in its offshore territory, Cypriot Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Paschalides said. The east Mediterranean island has already completed preliminary work required for the second round of 11 plots in the offshore zone between Cyprus and Egypt while there has been progress in the signing of bilateral exclusive economic zone agreements, Paschalides told reporters in Nicosia. Cyprus will continue consultations with neighboring Israel regarding the demarcation of their exclusive economic zones, he said. «Both with respect to Israel as to other countries, we want these agreements to be materialized so that every country knows the situation and can go ahead with planning.» (Bloomberg) Spending in tourism A poll indicates that Europeans plan to spend a bit more than last year on summer holidays but the effects of the financial crisis are still weighing on travel plans. The IPSOS poll released yesterday was conducted among 3,500 Europeans. It shows that 64 percent plan to take at least one holiday trip this summer. That’s the same figure as in a poll last year but still below the pre-financial meltdown figure of 67 percent in 2008. The poll says the average holiday budget has risen by 17 euros ($21), to 2,083 euros ($2,560). One glimmer of hope for cash-strapped holiday destinations like Greece or Spain is that 80 percent of Europeans plan to take their vacations on their own continent. (AP) Market ‘overreacted.’ Bank of America Merrill Lynch said markets have «overreacted» to the debt crisis in Europe and it expects a 10 percent gain in the region’s stocks by the end of this year. «Recovery is on the way,» Bill O’Neill, chief investment officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said during an interview in Istanbul yesterday. «We like the core European markets, the export-led industries, particularly industrials based in Germany, Benelux, France.» Europe’s benchmark Stoxx 600 Index has advanced 11 percent from its 2010 low on May 25 through yesterday, as concern eased that indebted European nations from Greece to Portugal face a worsening debt crisis. The measure remains 5.9 percent below this year’s peak on April 15 on speculation tackling debt will damp economic growth, falling 0.8 percent today. (Bloomberg)