|Sunday, 11 April 2021|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 16-08-11
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Thursday, 11 August 2016 Issue No: 5226
 COSCO says aims to turn Piraeus port into one of largest container hubs in EuropeChinese giant COSCO, which on Wednesday completed officially the acquisition of a majority stake in Piraeus Port, said it aims at developing OLP into one of the largest container transit ports in Europe.
The company will invest a total of 293.8 million euros in a series of mandatory projects in the next five to seven years, including the expansion of the cruise port, the upgrading of the ship-building zone, and the construction of a multi-storied garage in the Ro-Ro vessel port, the company said in a press release.
In the future, the Group will step up its investment to develop the Piraeus into one of the largest container transit ports in Europe and one of the biggest home ports for cruise operators in the world. "COSCO will invest in a 300,000DWT dock and improve supporting facilities, so as to boost the ship repairing capacity and seek opportunities for repairing offshore equipment," it said.
COSCO also said it will reform the Ro-Ro vessel port, which will make it the largest auto terminal in the Mediterranean and will accelerate the construction of China-Europe Land-Sea Express Line to close the gap between China and eastern and southern Europe.
"The Group will leverage on the construction of logistics and warehousing, respond to the 'Belt & Road' initiative and further expand the advantage of the port as a bridgehead of sealand intermodal to forge it into the logistics distribution center in the Mediterranean, as well as the south gate to Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans," COSCO said, adding that these investments will hopefully create more job opportunities and a better development platform for the younger Greek generation.
 We will continue to invest in Piraeus port, says Cosco's chief Wan Min"We will continue the investments in Piraeus port" said Cosco's general director Wan Min on Wednesday at the opening of Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) session on the occasion of the transfer of 51 percent of Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) shares to Cosco.
"We will improve the port's international position with aim to contribute in the development of the Greek economy, the strengthening of competitiveness and the creation of job positions" said Wan Min adding that the acquisition of OLP and Cosco's activity in Piraeus constitutes one of the most important international projects implemented by the Chinese group noting that the implementation of Piraeus programme will strengthen the cooperation between Greece and China and will bring Asia closer to Europe.
On his part Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) Stergios Pitsiorlas wished this day to mark the Greek economy's turn to growth and expressed the hope Piraeus to become the larger port in the Mediterranean with Cosco's active participation.
The head of the ASE Sokratis Lazaridis noted that today is a very important day in the 140 year-history of the ASE as it welcomes an international giant and marks ASE's contribution in the globalised economy.
In the opening of ASE's session the majority of OLP shares passed to Cosco. A total of 12,750,000 shares were sold for 22 euros per share, totalling 280, 5 mln euros.
 Labour ministry: No cuts to main pensionsThe labour ministry rejected media reports of an imminent or retroactive cut in main pensions on Wednesday, labelling them as a "new wave of misinformation." In its press release, the ministry described the reports as "grey propaganda which is published ... in serious newspapers", adding that the change concerns a 6 percent deduction which will be imposed on pensioners who receive two pensions and used to support health services.
 Political parties congratulate Olympic gold medalist KorakakiGreek parties hailed the double victory of shooter Anna Korakaki who won gold medal in the women's 25-meter pistol on Tuesday evening and bronze in the 10-meter air pistol final earlier in Rio's Olympics.
SYRIZA said in a press release the Olympic champion's success is of "historic proportions" as she managed to conquer two medals in the same Games. "Her family and particularly her father and coach also deserve our warmest congratulations, who supported the athlete in her road to her historic achievement," the party added.
On his side, New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the great success of Korakaki "made us all feel proud", noting that the complaints leveled by athletes against politicians who only remember them when they win medals "are justified". "The conditions under which Anna trained are inconsistent with her great talent. Unfortunately, sports didn't escape the large cuts of the memorandum years," he added.
In his message to the gold medalist, Communist Party leader Dimitris Koutsoumbas sent its congratulations to Korakaki and her family, adding that her success "has even more value when one considers the difficulties you encountered during your training."
Taking to his Facebook account, Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis said her victory was great for a society "that wants to believe in itself again, and you're showing it the way."
 Top court prosecutor said to bring disciplinary measures against top prosecutors over Siemens trialSupreme Court prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou reportedly brought disciplinary proceedings against the head of Athens' Appeals Prosecution, Isidoros Dogiakos and Prosecutors Giorgos Gerakis and Athina Theodoropoulou, for not translating in German and French crucial material used in the OTE-Siemens trial, which resulted in its indefinite postponement.
In July, the foreign defendants in the OTE-Siemens scandal argued in court that the non-delivery of the charge sheet in their native language, as the international law, provides for, renders it invalid. The court agreed and the trial adjourned.
The disciplinary proceedings were brought after the Deputy Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court, Anna Zairi, concluded her review. Dimitriou had asked Zairi to investigate whether there were disciplinary offenses committed by the prosecutors of the Athens Appeals Prosecution while preparing the case for trial.
The decision on whether to discipline the prosecutors will be taken by the disciplinary council of the Supreme Court.
 Energy regulator approves invitation for IBG capacity management tenderThe board at RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, approved on Wednesday an invitation to companies to submit binding bids for the management and allocation of capacity on the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria pipeline (IGB).
The guidelines have been published on the government's Diavgeia website. RAE also said it is working with Bulgaria's regulator to overcome procedural problems.
The IGB project consists of pipeline with an overall length of approximately 182 km, 31 of which are inside Greek territory, as well as supporting infrastructure (metering stations, valve stations and operation center). Its entry point will be in the vicinity of Komotini and the exit point near Stara Zagora in Bulgaria.
The present process of design, permitting procedures and financial structuring envisages the development of the IGB Pipeline with a transportation capacity of approximately 3 bNcm/y of natural gas from Greece to Bulgaria with ~57 barg pressure at the entry point and ~42 barg pressure at the exit point.
The technical design of the pipeline has reflected the possibility to meet possible future market needs for a higher transportation capacity through an upgrade to approximately 5 bNcm/y, which could be achieved through the installation of a compressor station.
According to the timeframe, construction is expected to start in the second half of 2016, while the start of operation is seen at the start of the second half of 2018.
 International arrivals jump 9.1 pct in July, says tourism bodyJuly saw an increase in last-minute international tourist arrivals in airports and roads, Greece's largest tourism body SETE said on Wednesday. According to the association, airports nationwide recorded a 9.1 percent rise (about 276,000) in arrivals last month, while 1.6 percent more tourists (about 30,000) arrived by car, compared with the same month in 2015.
Breaking down the numbers by destination, Crete, the Ionian Islands and the Cyclades received once more the bulk of international airport arrivals in July, with 12.8 pct, 13.3 pct and 8.7 pct increases respectively, compared with the same period last year. Athens and Thessaloniki also showed a 10 pct and 11.4 pct rises in international arrivals respectively.
On the other side, Kos, Samos and Lesvos - the islands mostly affected by the refugee crisis - recorded drops of 13 pct, 16.3 pct and a whopping 62 pct respectively.
"It is confirmed that the current tourist season remains fluid. The strengthening of the 'last minute' trend creates preconditions for achieving the goal set by SETE in the beginning of year for a 6 percent increase in arrivals, but at this stage it seems extremely difficult to achieve the corresponding target for revenue growth," the association said.
"At the same time, it is necessary to reiterate that the aforementioned increase will not reflect the situation in all destinations, with everything that this implies in terms of state revenue, employment and strengthening local communities."
 Greece raises 1,138 mln euros from auction of three-month T-billsGreece rolled over 1,138 million euros of three-month T-bills on Wednesday to refinance a maturing issue, the country's debt agency PDMA said on Wednesday.
The yield was 2.70 percent and the sale's bid-to-cover ratio was 1.30, unchanged from the last sale. The amount raised included 262.5 million euros in non-competitive bids.
Settlement date is August 12, 2016. On top of that, Primary Dealers can additionally submit non-competitive bids up to 30 percent of the amount initially auctioned until August 11, 2016 (12:00 local time).
 Greek stocks end higher as OLP majority stake is transferred to COSCOGreek stocks edged higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday, with OLP (Piraeus Port) transferring 51 percent of its stocks to China's COSCO for 280 million euros at the start of the session.
If we exclude this sum, net turnover remained at very low levels, totaling just 25 million euros in a volume of 36,173,409 shares, which is indicative of a lack of investor interest. The composite index of the market rose 0.87 percent to end at 567.28 points.
OLP transferred 12,750,000 stocks to COSCO for 22 euros per share. The price of the stock ended 1.08 percent lower to 13.80 euros, trading at a discount of 37.27 percent compared to the 22 euros at which it was transferred to the Chinese giant.
The Large Cap index rose 0.85 percent and the Mid Cap index also advanced 2.55 percent.
Mytilineos (4.06 pct), Lamda Development (3.75 pct) and Piraeus Bank (3.13 pct) were top gainers among blue chip stocks, while GEK TERNA (1.49 pct), OLP (1.08 pct) and Titan (0.80 pct) recorded the biggest percentage losses of the day.
Among market sectors, Raw Materials (4.06 pct), Telecommunications (2.35 pct) and Travel-Leisure (2.01 pct) scored big gains, while Construction (0.57 pct), Trade (0.49 pct) and Food-Beverages (0.42 pct) suffered losses.
OLP and Piraeus Bank were the most heavily traded securities of the day. Broadly, advancers led decliners by 62 to 27 with another 12 issues unchanged.
SATO (20 pct), Boutaris (17.86 pct) and ANEK (12.86 pct) were top gainers, while Motodynamics (29.18 pct), Euroconsultants (10 pct) and Intercontinental (10 pct) were top losers.
 ADEX closing reportThe August contract on the FTSE/ASE Large Cap index was trading at its theoretical value in a subdued trading session in the Athens Derivatives Exchange on Wednesday. The FTSE/ASE Large Cap index closed at 1,507.52 points, registering profits of 0.85 percent. Volume on the Large Cap index totaled 1,067 contracts with 5,378 open positions in the market.
Volume in futures contracts on equities totaled 12,382 contracts with investment interest focusing on National Bank's contracts (5,043) followed by Alpha Bank (2,280), Piraeus Bank (2,190), Eurobank (1,579), MIG (452), OTE (246), Mytilineos (169), OPAP (159), METKA (70), OLP (47), PPC (46), Ellaktor (42), Viohalco (16) and Hellenic Petroleum (2). No contracts were made in Motor Oil and GEK.
 Via Egnatia festival in the footsteps of the ancient Roman roadA series of cultural, sports, gastronomy and traditional events will be held across the region of eastern Macedonia and Thrace in the footsteps of ancient Egnatia Odos and within the context of the 2nd Via Egnatia Festival.
The festival is held to promote the cultural course of ancient Via Egnatia and its adjacent modern Egnatia that have been included in the strategic development plan of the region for the new NSRF 2014-2020 period.
Via Egnatia festival will open on Thursday 18 August at the archaeological site of Filippi which is listed in UNESCO's world heritage monuments, with an introduction and tour on the ancient Egnatia Odos by Kavala Antiquities Ephorate. An event with byzantine music will follow.
 Tax authority freezes assets of businessman following prosecutor's orderGreece's audit center for taxpayers with large wealth ordered on Wednesday the freezing of all moveable and non-moveable assets of businessman Yiannis Alafouzos, as part of an investigation into taxpayers who conducted bank transactions larger than 300,000 euros between 2000 and 2012 and following a complaint filed against him.
According to information, the businessman was summoned before the financial prosecutor to explain inconsistencies in his tax declarations which resulted from an audit, but was not able to justify an amount totaling about 50 million euros. The order has been sent by the prosecutor, Panagiotis Athanasiou, to all banks. Authorities are looking into 65 CDs containing data for more than a million Greek taxpayers who moved large sums of money in 2000-2012.
Alafouzos is a prominent ship owner, chairman of broadcasting group SKAI and publisher of newspaper "Kathimerini". He's also president of Panathinaikos football club.
"This is the result of a foretold event, which had pretty much been prejudged by unauthorized entities two months ago, who are actively involved in the circulation, spreading and formation of complaints relating to the investigation. These centers are known and have been fighting ferociously against my activities in Greece for years. We welcome the audit and we will contribute in its acceleration," the businessman said in a statement.
"The fact that this case was announced and activated in the current context, in the middle of August and, apparently, a few days before the tender procedure for broadcasting licenses, I leave it to the discretion of any well-intentioned citizen," he added.
 90 migrants and refugees arrived on the Greek islands in the last 24h57,098 identified refugees and migrants were on the Greek territory on Wednesday while 90 arrivals were reported in the last 24 hours.
According to the Refugee Crisis Management Coordination Body's figures, 21,777 of the refugees are in northern Greece, 9,881 are hosted in the region of Attica and 2,698 are hosted in facilities of central and southern Greece. 7,638 refugees and migrants are hosted in several facilities rented by the UNHCR, 2,756 in non-organised facilities 2,300 persons are living outside organised facilities.
10,042 refugees and migrants were recorded on the eastern Aegean islands.
 Greek swimmer Andreas Vazaios qualifies to semi-finals in RioGreece's Andreas Vazaios qualified for the semi-finals of the men's 200m individual medley in the Rio Olympics on Wednesday, securing the country's first ever inclusion in the semi-finals.
Vazaios secured the third position in the third heat with a time of 1:59:33 and the ninth among his fellow competitors who passed to the next phase. The semi-finals are scheduled for the early hours of Thursday, at 05:29 and 05:38 (Brazil time).
 Fair on ThursdayMostly fair weather and northwesterly winds are forecast for Thursday. Wind velocity will reach 5 on the Beaufort scale. Local clouds in the northern and the western parts of the country with temperatures ranging from 22C to 37C. Mostly fair in the eastern parts with temperatures between 24C and 37C. Sunny over the Aegean islands and Crete, 24C-34C. Fair in Athens, 26C-37C. Scattered clouds in Thessaloniki, 24C-36C.
 The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glanceAVGHI: Flirt with message to EU and USA
DIMOKRATIA: Pensioners devastation.
EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: To Russia with love
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: Retrospective tax on 400,000 pensions
ESTIA: In search of a new health system
ETHNOS: Alarm in the Aegean over the refugees' issue.
IMERISSIA: Express licences for business foundation.
KATHIMERINI: New wave of cutbacks in pensions.
NAFTEMPORIKI: Licences in no time.
RIZOSPASTIS: More gloomy reality for the working classes' children in school.
TA NEA: August classes on the debt.
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