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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-03-17
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 ND-Conference-Karamanlis17/03/2000 20:29:35
Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis on Friday said the ruling socialist PASOK party was an "establishment party being captive of arrogance, authoritarianism and an establishment mentality" and accused the government of making "black propaganda" and "extortionate dilemmas."
Karamanlis, inaugurating his party's three-day conference on principles and positions at the indoor Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus, expressed certainty that his party will win the April 9 general election, saying that ND is stronger and more mature now and more than ready to assume the responsibility of Greece's course in the new century.
 Foreign Exchange Market-Close17/03/2000 20:00:31
The drachma on Friday took a slight slip against both the euro and the US dollar in the domestic foreign exchange market, without, however, loss in foreign currency.
At the central bank's daily fixing, the euro was set at 333.690 drachmas from 333.660 drachmas in the previous session on Thursday.
Also at the fixing, the US dollar was set at 345.070 drachmas from 344.570 on Thursday.
 Secondary Bond Market - Close17/03/2000 20:00:24
Greek bonds maintained their yield spread from German bunds in buy trade on Friday, as both increased at almost the same rate.
The volume of transactions reached over 100 billion drachmas, with buy orders dominating the day-trade.
The benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 6.23 percent, with the spread over German bunds remaining unchanged from Thursday¢s 91 basis points.
The increased liquidity in the interbank market forced short-term period rates downward, with the National Bank of Greece quoting 8.75 percent for overnight, 9.20 percent for one month and 6.85 percent for one year.
 Thessaloniki-Tsohatzopoulos-Kosovo17/03/2000 19:20:16
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said on Friday that it is the right of whoever disagrees with the passage of troops of the UN multinational force through Greece to express it, but at the same time assume the responsibilities there of.
Tsohatzopoulos, who was commenting in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, on protest mobilisations to be organised in the next few days, pondered why the passage of the military force should lead to mobilisations, despite the fact that they are arriving in the region to conduct exercises aimed at strengthening its stabilising role in Kosovo.
"There should be a multinational force so there will be peace and security in Kosovo," he said, adding that "we support peace decisions in the Balkans when there is legality by the United Nations Organisation."
 Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday17/03/2000 17:55:44
Following are indicative foreign exchange buying rates for commercial banks, released by the central bank for the next working day.
U.S. dollar 342.309
 Weather Forecast-Saturday17/03/2000 17:35:57
Rainy weather is forecast in most parts of Greece on Saturday with snow in the north and in the mountainous regions of the country. Drop in temperature.
Winds will be northerly, moderate to strong.
 Stock market-Bank of Piraeus forecast17/03/2000 16:57:04
The Athens Stock Exchange will move above the 7,000 level early next year, unless there is some unforeseen development, Bank of Piraeus's chairman Mihalis Sallas predicted on Friday.
The Greek banker, who has made positive forecasts in the past, noted that all techinal analysis of the Greek market were positive, based on "a positive course of the world economy, favourable domestic macro-economic figures, Greece's entry in EMU and continued profitability by Greek listed companies".
"For those not in a hurry, not owning money, for all real stock market investors, the Athens bourse offers significant upward prospects," Sallas said.
He noted that hasty moves were hindering the market's development.
Sallas said that the media, businessmen and stock market authorities should work together to create a positive climate in the market and to keep retail investors in the bourse.
 Securities tax-state revenues17/03/2000 16:44:06
State tax revenues from securities transactions on the Athens Stock Exchange totalled 58.4 billion drachmas in the first two months of the year, accounting for 14.5 percent of the projected figure for the year 2000, the finance ministry said on Friday.
A ministry report said that securities' tax revenues totalled 31 billion drachmas in February, up a spectacular 270 percent from the same month last year.
The report also said that state revenues from mobile telephony taxes totalled 901 million drachmas, up 48 percent from February 1999. Tax revenues in the January-February period totalled 1.99 billion drachmas.
 Panavox-new name17/03/2000 16:35:08
Panavox, a member of listed Panafon group, on Friday announced it was renamed to Panafon Commercial SA, following a decision taken in its parent company's general shareholders' meeting last September.
Panavox, a Panafon's subsidiary since 1997, will maintain its targets and implement the group's strategic plans under its new name.
It comprises of two commercial departments - retail and corporate account, with the aim to promote Panafon's new services and products through the parent company's activities in telecommunications, Internet and electronic commerce.
The retail department will take over the management of all Panafon's retail stores.
 ADEX-close17/03/2000 16:25:08
Derivatives prices ended the last trading session of the week higher on the Athens Derivatives Exchange following gains in the two benchmark indices, FTSE/ASE 20 and FTSE/ASE 40, which ended 1.11 percent and 5.32 percent higher, respectively.
Trading was brisk with turnover at 16.7 billion drachmas.
A total of 2,050 contracts were traded on the FTSE/ASE 20 index, worth 11.3 billion drachmas. The March expiring contract ended at 2,704.25 points, the April contract at 2,754.50, the May contract at 2,760 points and the June expiring contract at 2,776 points.
A total of 1,772 futures contracts were traded on the FTSE/ASE 40 index, worth 5.4 billion drachmas. The March expiring contract ended at 745 points, the April contract at 782, the May at 793 and the September expiring contract at 830 points.
 Govt spokesman-social security funds17/03/2000 16:19:30
The government is not changing its policy on social security funds' reserves, invested in securities or real estate assets, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said on Friday.
He was commenting to press reports saying that the government intended to use funds' reserves to support the Athens Stock Exchange.
Reppas said that the current rate of 20 percent of funds' reserves invested in securities or real estate would be maintained until 2002 when the rate would be increased to 23 percent.
He said that a recently signed ministerial decree envisaged that social security funds' special investment committees could, on occassion, change the current terms on the 20 percent rate.
The current legislation envisages that a 12 percent rate of the total 20 percent of reserves could be invested in equities and the remaining 8.0 percent in real estate.
 ASE-close17/03/2000 16:02:20
Equity prices ended a turbulent week with gains on Friday, extending the previous day's recovery on the Athens Stock Exchange.
Dealers said a positive climate in international markets, Bank of Greece's improved measures on stock market loans and a cautious return of retail investors in the market, all contributed in maintaining a firm note in the Athens bourse.
Buying interest remained focused in smaller capitalisation stocks.
The general index ended 1.79 percent higher at 4,845.08 points, off the day's highs of 4,918.78 points.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 1.11 percent higher at 2,706.26 points and the FTSE/ASE 40 index jumped 5.32 percent to 746.50 points.
Turnover was a moderate 217 billion drachmas.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 936.17 points, up a spectacular 9.90 percent.
 Papandreou - Jovanovic - Kosovo17/03/2000 14:56:51
Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou spoke over the phone Friday morning with his Yugoslav counterpart Zivadin Jovanovic regarding recent developments in the strife-torn Yugoslav province of Kosovo, as a NATO exercise is scheduled to take place there in the next few days.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Russian FM Ivan Ivanov will receive Papandreou in Moscow. Additionally, the Kosovo issue will be tabled at an extraordinary EU summit meeting in Lisbon on Thursday.
 Bank of Greece-stock market-loans17/03/2000 14:55:37
The Bank of Greece, the country's central bank, on Friday announced it was offering improved financial facilities to businesses or private persons in their transactions with the stock market.
The central bank decided to allow commercial bank's loans to investors for the purchase or higher participation in a listed company's equity capital up to five percent.
It also decided to abolish the 18-month deadline for the repayment of a loan, signed by a company or a private person for the purchase of stock shares. Repayment will be freely negotiated between a bank and a borrower.
 Surgery - Remote - Samos17/03/2000 14:47:44
A demonstration of pioneering surgery employing a remote-controlled camera is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at the Eastern Aegean Institute for Research, based on the island of Samos, just across from the shores of Asia Minor.
The demonstration and accompanying 'tele-conference' is being organised by the University of Piraeus, Piraeus¢ Tzanneion Hospital and well-known, US-based Johns Hopkins, with the main subject of discussion being ?tele-medical? services in the next century.
Military physicians stationed on Samos will also participate at the conference.
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