By Nicolas Bornozis
The Greek stock market fell this week, with the ASE losing 1.01% closing at 2064.52. Daily average turnover value was formed at €172.06 million. The FTSE/ASE 20 Index closed lower 0.93% than last week, at 1039.61. The FTSE/ASE 40 Index also fell 1.88% closing at 219.87. The FTSE/ASE 80 Index declined 1.39%, closing at 620.79. In the negative climate this week, the two sectors that made the most gains were Information Technology and Insurance. Construction, Non-Metallic Minerals and Cement, Publishing and Printing, and Textiles were the biggest losers this week.
The Foreign Exchange from shipping increased 4.9% to €3.82 billion from €3.64 billion in the first 5 months of the year, according to a recent report of the Bank of Greece. The Bank also estimated that total foreign exchange inflows from shipping year-end will stand at €9.13 billion in 2003 from €8.5 billion in 2002, a 7.4% increase. Domestic inflation rate in July is expected to reach 3.5% from 3.8% in June, according to the National Statistics Service, which also reported that the second quarter 2003 GDP rate rose 4.4%. The National Bank of Greece calculated that the growth of the Greek Economy during 2003 will stand at 3.6%. With consumption remaining strong and investment, especially in construction and public works, accelerating, domestic demand should offset the drag from the external sector and activity overall should increase.
Vodafone-Panafon announces that its total registered customer base as at 30 June 2003 was 3,631,070, representing a 19.4% increase compared to 30 June 2002. Total net additions for the quarter (April-June 2003) were 248,305. Contract net additions reached 63,164, maintaining the trends of the last quarters, while prepay net additions for the quarter were 185,141, 93.4% higher than the previous quarter (Jan-March 2003).
In total, prepay customers reached 2,589,155, representing approximately 71% of the total customer base, while post pay customers surpassed 1 million and reached 1,041,915. The above figures reflect the success of the company’s commercial policy and specifically the bundled minutes tariff plans, the success of Vodafone live! as well as the dynamic presence of Vodafone shops in the market. The company also announced that Siemens will build the base stations of its 3G network in a €55million contract. Ericsson will build the core 3G network. Vodafone-Panafon plans to invest €600million to develop its 3G network the next 5 years.
Coca Cola – HBC
Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company S.A. announced its intention to acquire the Austrian mineral water company Römerquelle GmbH. The acquisition, which is subject to approval by regulatory authorities, involves production facilities at Edelstal and Pöttsching and the mineral water and wellness brands Römerquelle and Markusquelle.
Irial Finan, Managing Director of CCHBC, commented, “This acquisition is a significant further commitment to our operations in Austria. Römerquelle and Markusquelle have great potential for continued growth in the rapidly expanding bottled water and wellness drinks segments. The acquisition of Römerquelle GmbH complements CCHBC’s strategy of selectively broadening its beverage brands to satisfy consumers”.
The company signed a contract with Ericsson for the first phase of the development of its
3G network. According to unconfirmed press reports, the contract is approximately €60million.
The company’s main shareholders (65% stake) signed an MOU on Friday with German peer Westdeutsche Allgemein Zeitungsverlag GmbH & Co Zeitschriftenu (WAZ) about the set up of a j-v that will command a 61% equity stake in the Greek company. Lambrakis family (main shareholders of Lambrakis Press) will command 51% and WAZ 49% stake in the j-v. WAZ realizes some € 2billion revenues. The strategic partner for the Greek publishing company should enhance the local group against competition in a European context.
Following the merger through absorption of Aluminum of Athens, BEMET and EBITE by Viohalco, the company’s new shares starting trading this week.
The member of the SAIC consortium was awarded a €30million project related to the security (in the areas of: control and command centers, CCTV, port security and TETRA) of the Athens Olympic games. SAIC has already been awarded a €255million contract on the security of the Games.
Piraeus Bank/Etva Bank
According to press reports, the Greek State acquired a 35% stake in the company ‘Etva Industrial Regions’ for €63million.
National Bank of Greece
National Bank released first half 2003 results this week under Greek GAAP. The Bank reported EBTAM of € 260.6 million up 13.9% yoy. NII reached € 640.8 million up 12.8% yoy while fees & commission income reached € 180.6 million up 7.9% yoy. Operating costs were kept under tight control at € 593.9 million vs. € 591.9 million the same period last year. Staff costs were actually reduced by 1.9% yoy to € 357.5 million while administrative expenses remained flat yoy at € 149 million. Trading income dropped to € 60.5 million vs. € 72.5 million in the same time period last year (down 16.6% yoy).