By Nicolas Bornozis
Greek stocks rose for the first week in six. One of the biggest gainers this week was Alpha Bank S.A., Greece’s second largest bank, following a Finch Ratings increase in its outlook for the bank. Michaniki also played a significant role in the market, as it gained in its share buy-back program. The Public Power Corp rose due to its 36.5% expected sale by the end of October. The Athens Water Supply & Sewage SA also advanced due to the government’s announcement that it will soon be taking bits for its sale. Piraeus Port Authority SA gained substantially this week following the addition of its stock on the FTSE/ASE 140 Index and the FTSE/ASE Small Cap 80 Index. The General Index advanced 87.27 points, or 4.35%, to 2089.90 while the FTSE/ASE 20 Index gained 40.99 points to 1053.37. The FTSEASE small cap 80 Index marked the highest percentage increase, 7.37%, advancing 40.13 points to 584.58. The FTSE/ASE 40 gained 5.45%, closing at 220.95 points.
A Ministerial Cabinet meeting discussed this week next year’s draft budget deficit. Together with other figures presented, the budget deficit as a percentage of GDP will be 1% compared to approximately 1.4% this year. Primary expenses are expected to increase by 7.4% next year from 6% in 2003. A 5.9% increase in wages and pensions wa announced a few days ago. Privatizations are expected to be 2% of GDP, which is approximately 3.2bn Euro.
According to NTC, the Greek Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 51.4 in September from 52.3 in August. Data demonstrates that the expansion of Greece’s manufacturing sector continued for the fifth consecutive month. The survey also demonstrates that manufacturing output and order books have expanded, but at a less marked rate than in August. Stocks of finished goods dropped at a slower pace as the index rose to 47.3 from 44.9 in August. Stocks of purchases expanded marginally to 50.2.
In the Greece’s privatization process this week, the binding offer placed by the Spanish natural gas company, Gas Natural, for a 35% equity stake in state-owned Natural Gas Company (DEPA) may stand at €260m. The price offered points to a possible acquisition at 100x 2002 group EPS – 2002 EAT standing at €7m. The demanding valuation is justified by the monopolistic nature of the local market and high growth potential. The Greek government targets to complete 2003 privatizations plan in the next 75 days. It includes: 1) the sale of a 35% stake in Natural Gas Company (DEPA), 2) a 15% stake in National Bank, 3) a third privatization of around 16% this time for PPC, as well as the privatizations of 4) Hellenic Post, 5) Olympic Airways 6) Commercial Bank, 7) Post Savings Bank, 8) Hellenic Tourist Real Estate Company, 9) Real Estate Investment Company and 10) Athens Water & Sewage Co.
Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company S.A.
Coca-Cola HBC and The Coca-Cola Company have jointly acquired 100% of the shares in Multivita sp.z o.o. from Maspex sp.z o.o. The acquisition involves production facilities at Tylicz and the company’s mineral water brands. Mr. Doros Constantinou, Managing director of CCHBC, commented: “Poland is a key developing market for Coca-Cola HBC and this acquisition demonstrates our continuing commitment to it. Furthermore, with its considerable potential for growth, Multivita represents a significant extension to our range of products in Poland. The addition of this quality water brand is an excellent example of CCHBC’s strategy to broaden the selection of non-alcoholic beverages that we offer to our consumers.”
Tricolor and Fanco, the Group’s companies, due to the continued recession in the clothing sector and the European markets, in which they operate, had to incur significant losses over the past few years. The company proceeded with a share capital increase of 6.5 million Euro(GrD 2.2 billion) in order to reverse these negative results. In view of these unfavorable prospects, the company’s Management, after examining this issue over a period of several months, decided to proceed with the merger of Tricolan & Fanco on an operational level, thus realizing a series of economies of scale which would ensure the company’s viability.
EFG Eurobank Ergasias S.A.
EFG Hellas, which has its headquarters in London and belongs entirely to EFG Eurobank Ergasias bank, has successfully issued a bond loan of 500 million Euro. The bond, of a five-year term, was issued with a floating rate based on the Euribor quarter over 0.35%. It has been made available exclusively to institutional investors, mainly of European countries and also of the Far East. The principal Sponsors were Deutsche Bank, CSFB and Merrill Lynch. The product of the bond loan enlarges the liquidity base of the Bank with medium-long term funds.
Alpha Bank S.A.
Αlpha Bank and Elliniki Technodomiki, in their capacity as holders of shares equal to 60% and 40%, respectively, of the share capital of company Αlpha Commercial Real Estate Investment Fund A.E., announce their decision to cause the dissolution of that company, because the attainment of its corporate objectives is deemed as a handicap under the present circumstances.
According to the relevant decision of the Annual General Meeting dated September 30 2003, the dividend per share for the period (1/4/2002 – 31/3/2003) will be 0.11 euros. This amount is free of all taxes or other payments of similar nature imposed by law 2065/92. All shareholders having acquired Vodafone-Panafon shares until 30/9/2003 are entitled to the above dividend. Starting from 01/10/2003 Vodafone-Panafon shares will trade ex-dividend rights. The dividend will be distributed to the shareholders by mailing Alpha Bank cheques . The distribution will be held on 30/10/2003.