ECONOMY

In Brief

GNTO and Visa agree on joint Olympic promotion scheme The Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) and the Visa credit card company yesterday announced a deal for their mutual promotion in the framework of the 2004 Olympic Games. According to a statement issued at the World Travel Market (WTM) fair in London, Visa will include Greece in its Olympic programs for its subscribers and traders, using advertising spots, direct marketing and promotion programs in more than 50 cities. One of the moves entails setting up an information center for tourists in Athens. GNTO Chairman Yiannis Patellis said Greece stands to gain from Visa’s experience in similar Olympic schemes, such as in Sydney and Salt Lake City. In return, GNTO will promote Visa as sponsor and exclusive credit card for the 2004 Olympics and Paralympics. Visa will also include Greece on its website (www.visadestinations.com) and promote Greece among its partners in the tourism and air transport industries. On the sidelines of WTM, Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos met with the tourism ministers of Russia, Bulgaria and Turkey with a view to promoting joint packages, particularly in eco- and religious tourism. PPC projected to float second tranche on December 13 State-controlled Public Power Corporation (PPC) will float its second tranche of shares on the Athens Stock Exchange on December 13, sources said. The size of the flotation has not been set but is estimated at around 15 percent of existing capital and the government expects to collect 500 million euros. A presentation has been scheduled in London for November 20 and a roadshow will ensue between November 26 and December 6 in the rest of Europe and the USA. The price per share is projected to be set on December 9. The Economy Ministry expects it to be around 16-17 euros. PPC floated 15.6 percent of its shares in December 2001. It posted 947-percent profit growth to 260 million euros in 2001. Yugoslav bank EFG Eurobank Ergasias announced the initialing of an agreement for the acquisition of 67 percent interest in Yugoslavia’s Post Banka from the country’s postal and telecoms utilities, according to a statement. The buyer will launch a growth program for Post Banka – which has a license for fully fledged banking operations – similar to those already in place in Bulgaria’s Post Bank and Romania’s Banc Post in which the Greek bank has interests. Revenue rise Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said the Finance Ministry plans to legally institute a «golden rule,» committing the government to balance its central budget. The measure practically means that the government may borrow only for purposes of public investment or armaments. The bill will also set rules for the appraisal of each public spending item. He said the incomes policy for next year, as included in the 2003 budget which will be tabled in Parliament on November 19, will be tied to inflation. Ordinary budget revenues grew 8.2 percent year-on-year to 32.14 billion euros in the first 10 months of 2002, above the government’s annual growth target of 6.1 percent, the Finance Ministry said yesterday.