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Athens News Agency: News in English, 01-11-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM welcomes plan to merge by country's two biggest banks
  • [02] Foreign Exchange Rates - Friday
  • [03] First army and police group trained on biological and chemic
  • [04] Govt spokesman denies reports of arrests connected with "17 November"
  • [05] Weather Forecast: Rainy and stormy on Friday
  • [06] Merger news push ASE 3.5 percent higher
  • [07] Industrial production up 1.2 percent in August, yr/yr

  • [01] PM welcomes plan to merge by country's two biggest banks

    01/11/2001 19:46:10

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Thursday welcomed a planned merger between the country's two largest banks, state-run National Bank of Greece and private Alpha Bank.

    "This is an event with massive political, economic and social significance," Simitis told a cabinet meeting.

    Technical details of the merger plan are to be released later this month.

    National Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis told the meeting that a merger between the two banking giants would have a favourable impact on the economy.

    The move, which is subject to approval by regulatory authorities, would not appear to create a monopoly as it did not impede the entry of other companies into the banking sector, Christodoulakis said.

    The new bank to emerge would be classed as medium-sized among European credit institutions, ranking 25th in terms of capitalisation, the minister noted.

    "It will greatly reinforce the country's economy along with the Greek banking system and its competitiveness within the single European market," Christodoulakis said.

    [02] Foreign Exchange Rates - Friday

    01/11/2001 19:05:31

    Indicative tourist buying rates

    U.S. dollar 371.592

    German mark 172.829

    French franc 051.531

    Pound sterling 544.677

    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 045.383

    Swedish kroner 035.265

    Finnish mark 056.852

    Spanish peseta 002.032

    Portuguese escudo 001.686

    Japanese yen (100) 305.304

    Swiss franc 229.554

    Norwegian kroner 042.332

    Cyprus pound 588.433

    Canadian dollar 233.342

    Australian dollar 190.108

    [03] First army and police group trained on biological and chemic

    01/11/2001 18:48:26

    First army and police group trained on biological and chemical threats graduates

    The first group of Greek Armed Forces and Police Special Forces officers completed their training in confronting biological and chemical threats.

    Thirty seven Armed Forces officers and seven police officers, who completed their training hosted a demonstration of their new abilities in the communications training army camp at Haidari, near Athens, during which they conducted an exercise in finding chemicals and neutralizing them.

    [04] Govt spokesman denies reports of arrests connected with "17 November"

    01/11/2001 18:11:07

    Government spokesman Christos Protopapas on Thursday denied reports published on the same days edition of the ?Vradini? daily newspaper, according to which police arrested suspects connected with the infamous ?17 November? terrorist group.

    ?There are no arrests and no one is in custody,? Protopapas said, during the daily press briefing.

    The newspaper reported that the anti-terrorist squad of the Greek police arrested three individuals and was questioning them in relations to the shadowy terrorist organization that has been responsible for numerous fatal attacks in Greece.

    [05] Weather Forecast: Rainy and stormy on Friday

    01/11/2001 17:22:58

    Cloud and showers will spread throughout the country by evening from western central Greece and the north on Friday. Snow will fall on high ground in the north. Storms are expected at night mainly in the west, central and south. Winds in the centre and north will be east-northeasterly, moderate to very strong; and in the rest of the country variable, light. In the north, temperatures will range from 7C to 15C; in the centre from 10C to 20C; and in the rest of the country from 13C to 23C. Showers in Athens from late afternoon with a storm likely overnight. Temperatures between 13C and 19C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 9C to 14C.

    [06] Merger news push ASE 3.5 percent higher

    01/11/2001 16:40:34

    The confirmation of a merger plan between Greece's two largest banks, National Bank and Alhpa Bank, created a euphoric climate on the Athens Stock Exchange on Thursday with buyers reappearing in strength.

    Bank stocks were at the centre of attention, with investors now expecting more changes both in the banking sector and to other business sectors.

    The general index ended 3.50 percent higher at 2,554.55 points, off the day's highs. The index was 5.38 percent higher early in the session but gains were limited by a late wave of profit taking.

    Turnover was a substantially improved 99.9 billion drachmas, or 293.15 million euros.

    All sector indices scored gains, with the Investment, Banks and IT Solutions leading the advance (12.28 percent, 6.22 percent and 5.38 percent respectively).

    National Bank's share price ended 4.98 percent higher and Alpha Bank's soared 8.18 percent, down from an 11 percent intra-day gain.

    Other bank stocks also scored big percentage gains, with Eurobank up 6.69 percent, Commercial Bank up 6.59 percent, Piraeus Bank up 4.75 percent, Attica Bank up 12.83 percent and General Bank up 14.7 percent. Egnatia Bank soared 15.95 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 4.22 percent higher, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index rose 4.50 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 3.31 percent higher.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 318 to 30 with another 20 issues unchanged.

    [07] Industrial production up 1.2 percent in August, yr/yr

    01/11/2001 15:21:54

    Greece's composite industrial production index, including figures from mining, manufacturing, electricity-natural gas-water production, rose 1.2 percent in August compared with the same month last year, for an increase of 0.82 percent in the first eight months of the year.

    The mining production index rose 1.8 percent in August, while the manufacturing index increased by 2.4 percent and the electricity-natural gas-water index fell 1.6 percent.

    In the January-August period, the mining index fell by 0.50 percent, the manufacturing index rose by 1.82 percent and the electricity-natural gas-water index dropped by 1.66 percent.


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