ECONOMY

In Brief

CMC fines violators of investors’ trust The Capital Market Commission (CMC) yesterday imposed fines totaling 365,000 euros on stockbrokerage firm Merit, offshore companies Alastor Holdings, Mercer LTD and Protostat Investment, and two individuals for participating in transactions involving shares of listed firm Informer in August and September 2001, which resulted in the spreading of inaccurate or misleading information regarding the trading volume of the stock. It also fined the firm Ippotour 45,000 euros and six members of its board of directors 190,000 euros for changing the approved appropriation of capital raised on the bourse and signing a preliminary agreement for acquiring an 80 percent stake in a foreign-based company, owned by the chairman of the company and his wife, without informing investors. Further, CMC also fined MEAGA Holdings 15,000 euros and seven members of its board 28,500 euros for not including in the firm’s financial statements reference to minority interests in fiscal years 1998, 1998 and 2000, thereby showing higher profits than were true. Separately, the chairwoman of stockbrokerage firm Astraia, Constantina Schiza, was remanded in custody, charged with criminal fraud and forgery, after an estimated 1,100 investors filed suits, claiming they lost a total of about 40 million euros when Astraia closed down. Michaniki to file suits over Olympic Stadium project Construction company Michaniki is filing suits with the Council of State, the Radio and Television Council and the State Audit Council against decisions approving the assignment of the project of aesthetic upgrading of the Athens Olympic Stadium to competitor Aktor. Michaniki says that such decisions run counter to recent constitutional provisions promoting transparency, as Aktor’s basic shareholders, the Bobolas family, are also owners of publishing company Pegasus and it therefore must be excluded from public projects. Michaniki also says the project’s budget has been illegally raised by about 40 percent. Russian partners The chambers of Commerce and Industry of Thessaloniki and St Petersburg yesterday signed a cooperation agreement in the Russian city, after the two cities become «sister cities» on Wednesday. The two sides are planning mutual business delegation visits next year. CosmOTE Mobile operator CosmOTE will receive 5 percent of the revenues of sister companies Globul in Bulgaria and MTS in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as management fees, according to the terms of contract until December 31, 2004, approved by shareholders yesterday. Also, Constantinos Apostolidis, vice president of snack-maker Chipita International, was approved as second independent non-executive member of CosmOTE’s board of directors. Softex Kronotec AG, a subsidiary of the multinational timber processing group Kronoswiss, and Greek-based Fidelity Corporation have submitted a 10-million-euro offer to buy out Athens Paper Mill’s (Softex) plant in Drama, northern Greece, which shut up shop earlier this fall. According to a statement, the offer includes alternative proposals for a viable business plan.