By Nicolas Bornozis
The Greek stock market rose this week, with the ASE gaining 5.5%, outperforming international markets, with the successful public offering of OPAP and the buying interest in the telecommunication sector being the market’s major events. The average daily volume stood at 333.52 million Euro with institutional investors (domestic and foreign) being the main players. In parallel, the major foreign bourses consolidated, despite the release of above or in line 2Q03 results since investors consider them as already priced into the market. Furthermore, the announcements of mixed macroeconomic data (below consensus EU industrial production index vs. US jobless claims) prove that the gradual recovery is still valid.
According to the National Statistics Service, the industrial production in May posted a 1.7% rise y-o-y. During the January-March period the same figure rose 1.3% y-o-y. . The chairman of the Bank of Greece stated this week that the GDP rate in the first half of 2003 in Greece settled at 4%. The 2003 inflation rate is expected to reach 3.5-3.6%. US GDP rate in 2003 and 2004 are projected to reach 2.5-2.75% and 3.75-4.75% respectively according to the FED. The Eurostat, Eurozone’s harmonized inflation rate in June reached 2% vs. 1.9% in May, in line with market estimates. In reference to the revenues from the privatization process, the Minister of Economy stated that in 2003 they are expected to reach 3 billion Euro.
Infoquest announced that Q-Telecom’s customer base at June 30th 2003 reached 266,833 connections overall. The mobile connections reached 215,137 there of 186.968 were
prepaid customers and 28,169 were contract customers. The fixed line connections reached 51,696, all being contact customers using Q-Telecom’s network through the four digit carrier selection code 1765. The director of Q-Telecom, Mr. Kostas Prigipakis, stated: “During the first six months of 2003, we have surpassed our initial business plan targets. Consumer response is more than encouraging and proves that Q-Telecom is covering with a different way the needs of that part of the consumer base that choose to have quality services for lower prices with no obligations.” Mr Prigipakis added that Q- Telecom’s target for 5% market share by 2005 is feasible based on the above results.
Klonatex reported a significant increase in profit this week with turnover jumping by 217.76% for the first half of 2003 and amounted to 4.24 million Euro versus 1.3
million Euro in the respective period last year. This increase results from revenues due to provision of management services to its affiliated companies in accordance with its
objective as a holding company. Operating Profits exceeded 5.05 million Euro versus 3.6 million Euro in 2002, thus noting significant increase, a fact that is attributed mainly to the growth in the Company’s financial results. Consequently, operating margin
amounted to 119.1%. A turning point for the Company’s course during the current period is the significant reduction in its liabilities, which amounted to 40.8 million Euro
versus 72.6 million Euro in the first half of 2002, noting a decline of approximately 44%. This fact is attributed to the decrease in the Bank Debt.
Aegek recently signed a contract with the State about a 21.25 million Euro project regarding the construction of a 3.5km part of a national highway. The project will also include a 1km tunnel. The entire project is to be completed within 42 months.
Hellenic Telecommunication Organization (OTE)
OTE announced that Cosmorom plans to cease operations, but it will retain the 2G mobile license. However, the final decision will be taken by September 2003. Furthermore, the market share loss of the organization in the domestic fixed line segment during the 2Q03 stood at 2%.
Agriculture Bank expects 1H03 group EBT to be somewhere near €60m, which is up from €12m in the same period last year. The rise is attributed to the improved sustainable operating profits, the pay off coming from the organizational restructuring starting and the high capital gains recorded.
Societe de Participations CarnaudMetalbox Investments SAS submitted a public offer relevant to the full acquisition of Hellas Can. The offer will last from July 17 until September 10 2003 at the strike price of Euro 5.50 per share.
The Piraeus Port management company’s IPO subscription period will take place between July 23 and 25, 2003. IPO price range is reportedly set with €8.80 ceiling per share. The State plans to offer 6,072,000 of its own shares from a total share number of 25,000,000.
OPAP’s public offering was oversubscribed 5x with foreign institutional investors covering the 62% of the placement. The book-building price was set at Euro 9.44 (3.7% below Friday’s closing price and the upper limit of the price range). The strike price for OPAP’s employees and holders of convertible bonds was set at Euro 8.50 and 8.97 respectively.