ECONOMY

Epic prospects are abroad

Epic Investment Services, a local investment company partially owned by Swiss bank Banque Cantonal Vaudoise, yesterday urged local investors to invest abroad in view of the lengthy malaise gripping the Athens stock market. Anastassios Kantemnidis, managing director, said foreign markets showed more prospects of a rally compared with the Greek equity market which has been languishing in the doldrums since the bubble burst two years ago. The benchmark index yesterday lost 1.78 percent to close at 1,898.49 points, a far cry from the 6,000-point level breached in September 1999. Close to a third of the stocks posted year-lows. Kantemnidis said the Greek market has a resilience and liquidity problem. «Markets abroad respond to economic developments but not the Greek equity market. There are more chances of a recovery abroad than in Greece,» he said. Epic has designed a new asset management product, «epicosmos,» which allows investors to take advantage of the opportunities offered by foreign markets, Kantemnidis said. He said the product offers a range of management services to the smaller investors that is currently only available to major investors. Investors set the level of risk and are advised on the status of their investments on a daily basis and every 15 days. Quarterly statements help investors keep track of their transactions. The minimum capital is 30,000 euros. Charges are limited to an annual fee ranging from 1 to 2 percent annually, depending on the size of the investments. Epic is 25-percent owned by Lausanne-based Banque Cantonale Vaudoise, with the remaining 75 percent held by Greek businessmen. Kantemnidis said Epic is looking to boost its size via mergers or acquisitions, allowing it to play a bigger role. Average yields on the busiest May 7, 2003 domestic debt paper stood at 71.70 percent compared to 71.99 percent on Tuesday but debt traders said lingering uncertainties would prevent a major fall in interest rates.