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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-11-20

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Objectors to Cyprus' EU course 'will have us to deal with', FM
  • [02] Technical Olympic USA in 28-mln-dollar purchase
  • [03] National Bank of Greece, ETEBA in final stage of merger
  • [04] Greece to promote religious tourism
  • [05] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday
  • [06] Weather Forecast: Scattered cloud on Thursday
  • [07] Greek stocks end slightly higher on Wednesday

  • [01] Objectors to Cyprus' EU course 'will have us to deal with', FM Papandreou warns

    20/11/2002 23:22:58

    Greece's foreign minister George Papandreou on Wednesday expressed hope that no EU member country would raise any objections to Cyprus positive course for EU accession, but at the same time warned that if such an eventuality arose ''they will have us to deal with''.

    Replying to press questions after an inter-ministerial meeting chaired by prime minister Costas Simitis ahead of a NATO summit in Prague, Papandreou said it was reasonable that there be pressure by the US side for a resolution of the Cyprus issue, given the delay by Turkey which, invoking difficulties due to the ongoing deliberations on the composition of the new government in that country, had yet to respond to the draft plan put forward by the UN chief as a basis for negotiating a Cyprus solution.

    But time was flyng, rendering more difficult the prospect for negotiations of substance, Papandreou warned.

    He said that the Greek and Greek Cypriot sides hoped that a solution would be achieved before the EU summit in Copenhagen next month, but added that even if that did not occur, the negotiations must continue dynamically.

    Asked to comment on press reports of a US non-paper to the EU on the Cyprus issue and Euro-Turkish relations, Papandreou said that the Greek side had not seen any such document. He referred, however, to a statement Tuesday by the Danish EU presidency that the UN secretary general's initiative was considered positive, and reminded that the Greek side considered it as a basis for the commencement of negotiations to achieve an agreement.

    To other questions, Papandreou did not rule out the prospect of numerous bilateral contacts on the Cyprus issue taking place on the sidelines of the NATO summit, which opens Thursday in Prague.

    [02] Technical Olympic USA in 28-mln-dollar purchase

    20/11/2002 23:20:37

    Technical Olympic USA, a subsidiary of Greek listed Technical Olympic SA, announced the takeover of Masonry Homes Inc, a home building company based in Maryland, for 28 million US dollars in cash.

    Masonry Homes will add Technical Olympic USA a total of 240 new real estate sites and the option to acquire 2,400 building sites in the next few years, a regular practice for large homebuilders in the US.

    Masonry Homes was founded in 1971. The company has sold a total of 250 homes in the 12-month period November 2001-November 2002 at an average price of 214,000 US dollars.

    [03] National Bank of Greece, ETEBA in final stage of merger

    20/11/2002 23:15:17

    National Bank of Greece and National Investment Bank for Industrial Development are in the final stage of a merger, the commercial bank said in a statement after securing approval from shareholders.

    The investment bank's operation's will be absorbed into National Bank, its parent company, allowing higher risk to be undertaken, management said in a statement.

    In addition, blue-chip National Bank of Greece received shareholder approval for absorption of another subsidiary, Banque Nationale de Grece (France), the statement said.

    The merger is boost competitiveness, lower costs and give the French operation access to its parent's capital, it added.

    National is the country's largest bank.

    [04] Greece to promote religious tourism

    20/11/2002 23:10:22

    Promoting religious tourism was one of the country's top tourist policy priorities in an effort to enrich its domestic tourist product, expand the tourist season and support regional development, Development Deputy Minister Dimitris Georgakopoulos said on Wednesday.

    In a letter sent to Economy Deputy Minister Christos Pahtas, Mr Georgakopoulos asked for the approval of funds to finance infrastructure projects in religious sites worth 4.6 million euros.

    Meanwhile, a group of American journalists and television technicians working for NBC Olympics Inc TV network, visited Greece November 12-17 as part of a programme to promote Greece ahead of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

    The group visited the region of Elia (where the site of the ancient Olympia is) and the islands of Cephalonia and Santorini.

    NBC Olympics' chief producer, Mark Levy, said that the US network would cover the Athens 2004 Olympic Games with seven-minute videos and photographies in educational TV programmes. The deal is part of a cooperation between Greece's National Tourist Organisation and Athens 2004, the organising committee.

    [05] Foreign Exchange Rates - Thursday

    20/11/2002 17:58:53

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.009

    Pound sterling 0.641

    Danish kroner 7.485

    Swedish kroner 9.150

    Japanese yen 123.6

    Swiss franc 1.479

    Norwegian kroner 7.389

    Cyprus pound 0.576

    Canadian dollar 1.599

    Australian dollar 1.805

    [06] Weather Forecast: Scattered cloud on Thursday

    20/11/2002 17:27:28

    Scattered cloud is forecast in all parts of the country, which will turn to rain in the west by evening. Early morning mist is expected. Winds southeasterly, light to moderate. In the north, temperatures will range from 06C to 18C; in the west from 11C to 20C; and in the rest of the country from 10C to 22C. Temperatures in Athens between 13C and 20C; and in Thessaloniki from 10C to 17C.

    [07] Greek stocks end slightly higher on Wednesday

    20/11/2002 17:03:45

    Greek stocks ended Wednesday's session slightly higher in the Athens Stock Exchange, with the market finding support from a rebound in Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation's share price and a recovery in smaller capitalisation stocks.

    The general index rose 0.27 percent to end at 1,821.16 points, with turnover a low 72.8 million euros.

    The Publication, Wholesale, Investment and Metals sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day (2.71 percent, 1.59 percent, 1.07 percent and 0.94 percent, respectively), while the Cement and Food-Beverage sectors suffered losses (0.48 percent and 0.09 percent, respectively).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.28 percent up, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index rose 0.44 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 0.58 percent higher.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 192 to 90 with another 80 issues unchanged.


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