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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-09-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] NBG successfully auctions 1.5-bln-euro covered bond issue
  • [02] Karatzaferis press con'f
  • [03] Stocks end slightly lower

  • [01] NBG successfully auctions 1.5-bln-euro covered bond issue

    Ķational Bank of Greece on Wednesday announced the successful completion of an auction of a covered bond issue to domestic and foreign institutional investors, part of an existing programme of issuing covered bonds worth 10 billion euros.

    The bank said the 1.5-bln-euro bond issue was four times oversubscribed, with bids submitted totalling 6.0 billion euros. National Bank priced its 2016 bond issue - which pays a coupon of 3.875 pct -- at 99.238, with a yield spread of 90 basis points over the seven-year swaps.

    [02] Karatzaferis press con'f

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) founder and president George Karatzaferis held his nationally televised press conference on Wednesday, a standard practice of all party leaders the week before elections, where he charged that both mainstreams parties are flagrantly ignoring every major issue sans the economy.

    Karatzaferis, a former ND deputy who fell out with today's ruling party to start his own right-of-centre party 2002, charged that the Siemens affair, national issues are being "swept under the carpet", whereas both ND and PASOK are giving only cursory attention to the heated illegal immigration problem.

    "Have you ever seen a previous campaign agenda that was dominated by one issue? Only the economy?" he asked during the press conference at the Zappeion Hall in downtown Athens.

    "We're headed to the ballot boxes without knowing the receivers of the 100 million euros from Siemens. Germany has already issued a judicial ruling that considers them as accomplices in a crime. One would expect from (PASOK leader George) Papandreou to show sensitivity and assume the share of responsibility ... What did we hear from Mr. Papandreou regarding national issues? He (Papandreou) should clarify what he meant when he said that we can't have problems with Turkey over a few stremmata (1,000 square metres is one stremma)," he said, adding:

    "At this moment the Cyprus issue is in its worst phase and (Premier) Mr. Karamanlis is lying when he said he said 'no' to the Annan peace plan".

    Asked about the issue of illegal immigration, a major rallying point for the Parliament-represented LA.OS, Karatzaferis repeated his proposal for maintaining a quota system in the country, referring to what he called the "Lafontaine model" in Germany. He also underlined that any new Greek government must increase pressure on the European Union to assist in better guarding Greek borders from the illegal immigration wave.

    In other matters, Karatzaferis said he foresees that a first-place PASOK will not garner enough votes to form a self-sufficient government, whereas he said he hoped the leftist SYRIZA alliance re-enters Parliament.

    Finally, asked if the Church of Greece should be taxed, he stated: "whatever creates wealth should be taxed, and the Church should not be an entrepreneur."

    [03] Stocks end slightly lower

    Stocks ended a volatile session slightly lower at the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The composite index of the market eased 0.23 pct to end at 2,661.42 points, with turnover a heavy 312.3 million euros of which 9.8 million euros were block trades.

    Sector indices ended mixed with the Utilities (2.83 pct), Travel (0.68 pct) and Food/Beverage (0.36 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Media (6.51 pct), Technology (3.76 pct), Raw Materials (3.41 pct) and Financial Services (3.24 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index eased 0.46 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 1.49 pct down and the FTSE 80 index fell 1.90 pct. Broadly, decliners led advancers by 161 to 53 with another 48 issues unchanged.

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