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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-01-19
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 US-Greece-Stolen Antiquities-Corinth Museum19/01/2001 21:44:36
NEW YORK (ANA - M. Georgiadou) - The FBI on Thursday delivered 274 ancient artifacts, stolen from the Archaeological Museum in Corinth on April 12, 1990 and discovered in Miami in 1997, to a delegation of the culture ministry and the Greek police.
FBI deputy director Barry Mawn expressed his satisfaction at a relevant ceremony at FBI's head office in New York over the return of the antiquities to Greece following cooperation with the Greek police.
Police director George Tzallas, head of the antiquities smuggling department, said the theft of 288 artifacts from the Archaeological Museum in Corinth in April 1990 was the biggest antiquities theft ever to take place in Greece.
 Stephanopoulos-Italy-Visit19/01/2001 20:56:58
President Kostis Stephanopoulos will pay an official visit to Italy on January 23-26, at the invitation of his Italian counterpart Carlo Ciampi with whom he will be holding talks on Tuesday afternoon.
Stephanopoulos will also meet Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato for talks on bilateral and international issues, as well as the situation in the Balkans, and visit Pope John Paul at the Vatican on Wednesday afternoon. It will be the first visit ever to be made to the Vatican by a Greek president.
During his stay in Italy, Stephanopoulos will be visiting Brindisi, Sternatia, Catania, Syracuse and Taormina.
 Commercial Bank of Greece-ICAP-Brokerages19/01/2001 20:07:54
Commercial Bank of Greece, which is listed on the Athens bourse, is to buy a 20 percent stake in ICAP, a market consulting and research firm, governor Yiannis Stournaras said on Friday.
The shares will be purchased from private Alpha Bank, the country's second largest bank and a blue chip on the bourse. Alpha will remain the main shareholder of ICAP with a 25 percent stake, Stournaras added.
He also announced that state-owned Commercial's two brokerages - Commercial Securities and Metrolife - would be merged and then form part of the Investments Bank, a subsidiary of the Commercial Group.
The move was part of a plan by the bank to undertake more investment services, working with its strategic partner, Credit Agricole of France, Stournaras said.
 Football Pools-Athens Bourse-IPO19/01/2001 19:23:35
Authorities of the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday endorsed an application by the Organisation Of Football Match Forecasts (OPAP) SA to hold an initial public offer (IPO) for entry into the bourse's main market.
The state, the firm's main shareholder, will sell 31,900,000 existing common bearer shares. Of the total 30,305,000 are to be sold to the public in the IPO with another 1,595,000 destined for private placement to OPAP board members, staff and sales agents.
 Foreign Exchange Rates-Monday19/01/2001 19:10:02
Monday's buying rates
U.S. dollar 359.592
German mark 172.829
French franc 051.531
Pound sterling 529.814
Irish punt 429.202
Belgian franc 008.379
Luxembourg franc 008.379
Dutch guilder 153.389
Italian lira (100) 017.457
Austrian schilling 024.565
Danish kroner 045.271
Swedish kroner 038.035
Finnish mark 056.852
Spanish peseta 002.032
Portuguese escudo 001.686
Japanese yen (100) 305.468
Swiss franc 221.395
Norwegian kroner 041.087
Cyprus pound 585.149
Canadian dollar 238.303
Australian dollar 200.996
 Weather Forecast-Saturday19/01/2001 18:33:06
Scattered cloud is forecast throughout Greece on Saturday, turning to showers in most parts of the mainland and snow on high ground. Winds variable, moderate to very strong, turning gale force in the Ionian. In the north, temperatures will range from -3C to 9C; on the rest of the mainland from -1C to 14C ; and in the islands from 5C to 15C. A showery afternoon in Athens with snow on Parnitha. Temperatures between 5C and 12C. Cloudy in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 1C to 8C.
 Bulgaria - OTE - Mobile license19/01/2001 18:17:33
SOFIA (ANA) Bulgaria officially presented Greeces state-run telephone utility (OTE) on Friday with a license to establish the second mobile telephony network in that country.
Greeces telephone utility paid US$ 135 million for a 15-year concession to develop, maintain and operate a second mobile phone network in the neighbouring country using the GSM band.
OTE set up Greeces third mobile phone network, its successful subsidiary Cosmote, three years ago.
OTE, a heavily traded share on the Athens Stock Exchange as well as a listed company on the New York Stock Exchange, late last summer had failed in its joint bid with the Netherlands' KPN to purchase a majority share of Bulgarias state-owned telecoms company (BTC)
 Commercial Bank-results19/01/2001 17:06:04
Commercial Bank expects its pre-tax profits to increase by 25 percent to 115-120 billion drachmas (337-350 million euros) last year compared with 1999, Yiannis Stournaras, the bank's chairman said on Friday.
Stournaras said these figures were considered particularly significant due to negative developments in the stock market, a higher cost of voluntary retirement (around 3.0 billion drachmas), higher provisions (9.0 billion drachmas) and a full restructuring of the bank's portfolio.
He said that in the six month under his presidency, Commercial Bank implemented an agreement to set up a bank in Cyprus, it created a real estate company and has started merger procedures among the group's insurance companies, Metrolife and Phoenix.
Stournaras and Jean Luc Perron, Credit Agricole's representative to Commercial Bank's board, told a news conference on Friday that a strategic deal between the two banks has already began bearing fruit.
Commercial Bank, in cooperation with Credit Agricole, is expected to present the first joint banking products to the Greek market.
"Our deal is important, long-term and has a pan-european range," the two men said.
The two banks are expected to launch their joint venture in the bankassurance market in April, offering its first products by October.
 Greece-syndicated bond issue19/01/2001 16:54:50
Greece's Public Debt Management Organisation on Friday announced the issue of a new 10-year syndicated benchmark bond loan, with a maturity date of May 18, 2011.
International banks Salomon Schroder Smith Barney, Goldman Sachs, UBS Warburg, Alpha Bank and National Bank of Greece will act as lead-managers to the syndicated loan, while another 10 Greek and foreign banks, acting as primary market dealers will participate as co-lead managers to the deal.
The initial value of the issue will be around 2.5-3.0 billion euros, to finally reach 6.0 billion euros.
 ECB-foreign exchange19/01/2001 16:44:17
The euro/dollar rate eased slightly to 94 cents on Friday, from 94.12 the previous day, according to the European Central Bank's reference rate, pushing the drachma/dollar rate to 362.5 drachmas.
The ECB also announced that the euro/yen rate was 110.66 yen (3.07 drachmas), the euro/sterling at 0.6380 (534.09 drachmas), the euro/Swiss france rate at 1.5268 (223.17 drachmas) and the euro/Cyprus pound rate at 0.5776 (589.94 drachmas).
 Greece-shipowners-meeting19/01/2001 16:39:53
The Greek shipowners' union will hold its annual general members' meeting on February 7 in Piraeus, the union said on Friday.
The meeting's agenda includes, a review of Greek marine industry's course in the year 2000 by union president Yiannis Lyras, and union activities (domestic and abroad).
Greek shipowners will also have to approve the union's balance sheet and to elect new auditors for the period 2001.
 Athenian Holdings-strategy plan19/01/2001 16:30:23
Athenian Capital Holdings on Friday unveiled its new strategy plans aiming to fully exploit its current medium- and long-term investments.
The new strategy, based on an in-depth analysis of investment plans, urges for further venture capital investments in rapidly growing sectors with the aim to create surplus value in the shortest possible time.
The company's new board also decided henceforth to inform the public only on specific actions and completed deals and not for intended actions and plans.
 Multirama-ASE listing19/01/2001 16:18:56
Multirama SA will start trading on the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, January 22, a company statement said on Friday.
Multirama will list 3,772,914 shares - following a merger deal with Athinea - on the main market of the Greek bourse.
Germanos owns 47.12 percent in the merged company, Singular has a 24.43 percent stake, Sarandis a 9.30 percent stake and other shareholders own 19.15 percent in the company.
Multirama reported that its turnover exceeded 20 billion drachmas in 2000, up 65 percent from the previous year, while net pre-tax profits totalled one billion drachmas.
The company plans to expand its leading position in the Greek retail IT market and to establish its new store chain Office 1 in the country.
Multirama also examines expanding its activities in other central and eastern European markets, predicting improved results in the next three years.
 ASE-close19/01/2001 16:11:19
Equity prices ended the last trading session of the week lower on the Athens Stock Exchange, undermined by lack of buying interest and low liquidity.
Traders said the Greek market awaited the announcement by the government of new measures to restructure the economy and to boost the market.
Agricultural Bank of Greece saw its share price drop to 3,135 drachmas (9.20 euros) from its listing price of 3,200 drachmas (9.39 euros) on its debut in the market. Traders said investors-holders of "prometoha" shares preferred to take profits.
The general index ended 0.96 percent lower at 3,183.73 points, for a net loss of 4.86 percent in the week. Turnover was a low 114.78 million euros, or 39.112 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.83 percent lower at 1,856.88 points, and the FTSE/ASE 40 index dropped 2.64 percent to 323.95 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended 1.12 percent lower at 251.47 points.
 Pouliadis-Cisco Systems-deal19/01/2001 15:06:44
Pouliadis Group on Friday announced a deal with Cisco Systems to cooperate in educational programmes in Cyprus, offered by Advanced Technology Learning ATL, a Pouliadis Group company.
Cisco Systems officially acknowledged ATL as the unique Cisco Learning Partner in Cyprus.
ATL was founded in 1989 and since then it has educated more than 3,000 executives from more than 200 private and public organisations and enterprises.
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