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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-07-04

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Foreign Exchange Rates-Wednesday
  • [02] Iranian Jews - Conviction - Reactions
  • [03] Weather Forecast-Wednesday
  • [04] Greece-budget surplus-estimates
  • [05] Greece-infrastructure projects-private sector
  • [06] Greece-mutual funds-June report
  • [07] ASE-close

  • [01] Foreign Exchange Rates-Wednesday

    04/07/2000 19:32:06

    Following are indicative foreign exchange rates released by the central bank for the next working day.

    Wednesdays rates (buying)

    Euro 334.135

    U.S. dollar 352.398

    German mark 170.840

    [02] Iranian Jews - Conviction - Reactions

    04/07/2000 18:42:26

    International reactions continued to reverberate on Tuesday over the weekend conviction by a revolutionary court in Iran of 10 Iranian Jews on charges of spying for Israel and the United States.

    Israeli diplomatic sources, for instance, called on the Greek government, Parliament deputies and local NGOs to take an ?official stand? on the issue, while at the same time expressing appreciation of Greek leaderships ?subtle? initiatives over the past few months aimed at averting the groups persecution.

    Efforts by Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos in face-to-face talks with the Iranian leadership -- during his recent state visit to Iran -- as well as contacts by Greeces foreign and defence ministers, George Papandreou and Akis Tsohatzopoulos, were cited by the same diplomatic sources.

    Greek Euro-MPs Anna Karamanou and Yiannis Trakatellis have also brought up the issue in the Europarliament.

    Israel has categorically denied that the 13 Iranian Jews who include a footwear shop owner and a butcher have any links whatsoever to its intelligence services.

    Iran, meanwhile, has accused western critics of meddling in its internal affairs and its ability to conduct delicate judicial proceedings.

    [03] Weather Forecast-Wednesday

    04/07/2000 18:16:14

    Sunshine is forecast on Wednesday with temperatures expected to hit a sweltering 42C in many parts of the country. Winds northerly, light, turning moderate in the southern Aegean.

    [04] Greece-budget surplus-estimates

    04/07/2000 16:57:38

    The Greek government's economic team expects this year's budget surplus to total at least 550 billion drachmas, reflecting higher VAT and tax revenues.

    A meeting chaired by National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou with the participation of Finance Undersecretary George Drys reaffirmed the team's satisfaction over this year's budget implementation process, despite a small rise in spending.

    A more optimistic forecast expects the budget surplus to total 800 billion drachmas in 2000.

    The meeting agreed that the general government's deficit would fall to 0.7 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product, from an initial estimate of 1.2 pct of GDP. Next year's aim is for a budget surplus of 0.2 percent of GDP and the country's debt to be contained below 100 pct of GDP from an estimated 103.3 pct this year.

    [05] Greece-infrastructure projects-private sector

    04/07/2000 16:46:37

    CCF Charterhouse-Lamda SA and UBS Warburg won a tender to consult Greece's national economy ministry on private sector's participation in infrastructure projects included in a Third Community Support Framework.

    The ministry promotes the implementation of a series of pilot programmes in the building or management of infrastructure projects and services, to be funded, totally or partially, by the private sector.

    CCF Charterhouse and Lamda SA will consult the ministry on defining the most suitable services to implement a Private Funding Initiative.

    UBS Warburg will consult the economy ministry on how to categorise and evaluate projects included in a Third Community Support Framework.

    The tender envisages that the two consultants would have completed their work by September.

    National economy ministry is also in a procedure to hire a specialised financial consultant to prepare pilot projects and necessary tendering procedures for the projects.

    The announcement of tenders to select a financial advisor is expected before the end of July, selection should be completed by the end of the year and tendering on the projects could start in the first half of 2001.

    Signing of final contracts are expected in the first half of 2002.

    National Economy Undersecretary Christos Pahtas said that the implementation of a Private Funding Initiative would benefit the state in many ways, as it would cut spending.

    [06] Greece-mutual funds-June report

    04/07/2000 16:30:12

    Greece's mutual funds' assets fell by 571 billion drachmas in June, compared with the same month last year, to a total of 11.5 trillion drachmas, down 3.79 percent from the start of the year, Association of Institutional Investors' figures showed on Tuesday.

    The report attributed the decline in total assets to a 506 billion drachmas (-12.78 pct) fall in domestic equity mutual funds' assets following a new drop in equity prices on the Athens Stock Exchange.

    Domestic equity mutual funds' assets fell 29.3 percent in the six-month period from January to June, although shares in circulation rose 7.92 percent over the same period.

    Domestic equity mutual funds' share of the total market fell to 31.69 percent in June from 34.35 percent in May and 41.63 percent in December 1999.

    All other mutual funds' categories showed marginal changes in June, with the exception of Foreign Equity which saw their assets rose 3.68 percent, or 170.62 pct this year.

    Money market mutual funds' were the main beneficiaries of the decline in domestic equity funds, with their market share rising to 45.31 percent in June from 43.62 pct in May.

    Bond mutual funds saw their market share also rise to 13.38 pct from 12.70 pct, over the same period.

    Vergina Midcap domestic equity fund toppped the list of annual returns, yielding 1.45 percent (the average return of the sector was 25.17 pct). Nationale Nederlanden Info Technology was ahead in the foreign equity category with an annual return of 14.14 pct, up from an average return of 2.2 pct of the sector.

    Sogen Money Market topped the list of money market mutual funds with an annual return of 11.50 pct, up from an average yield of 3.81 pct of the sector.

    In the bond mutual funds sector, Sogen Income topped the list with an annual return of 16.55 pct, up from an average return of 4.32 pct of the sector.

    [07] ASE-close

    04/07/2000 16:10:48

    Equity prices lost further ground on Tuesday pushing the general index below the 4,000 support level for the first time in 51 sessions on the Athens Stock Exchange.

    Dealers said the market was undermined by lack of confidence among investors and persistent low liquidity.

    Technical analysis showed that the 3,900-3,920 level would be the next support level for the market.

    The general index ended at 3,978,98 points, off 1.03 percent, its lowest close since April 18. Turnover was a low 66 billion drachmas, of which 13 billion drachmas were a block trade of Electra's 47 percent equity capital to Bank of Piraeus Group.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.91 percent lower at 2,201.90 points and the FTSE/ASE 40 index fell 0.92 percent to 568.25 points.

    The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 731.12 points, off 0.51 percent.

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