By Nicos Bornozis*
The Greek stock market rose again this week, with the ASE gaining 3.42% closing at 1720.75. Daily average turnover value was formed at € 199.20. The FTSE/ASE 20 Index closed higher 4.83% than last week, at 853.13. The FTSE/ASE 40 Index also rose 3.80% closing at 18151. The FTSE/ASE 80 Index followed suit with a 4.51% rise at 455.15.
The increase in the trading volume in the past two weeks has been significant, taking into consideration that the market was open for only six days in total. The banking sector led the market, especially through the stocks of the National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, and Eurobank, which reported high profits. The increase in trading volume has also been attributed to the improved interest in the Greek market, from both international and domestic investors. Mid and small cap companies were also in higher demand, due to a long-term investment interest from individuals.
MSCI announced that in its review, effective on May 30th after the market close, it will delete three companies from its MSCI – Greece Index. The deleted companies are Attica Enterprises, EYDAP, and Maillis. MSCI announced no additions.
The Government released Greece’s budget execution for Q1 2003 this week. Public spending increased by 25.2% yoy vs. a target of 6% set by the government while revenues increased by 2.3% yoy vs., a target of 5.1%. The total government lending needs increased 66.6% in Q12003 vs. a target of 9.4%. Furthermore, Greece’s March wholesale prices rose by 2% yoy and 0.5% month to month (mom). The mom rise was due to the increase of the Agricultural Products for Domestic Consumption Index by 4.8% and the Industrial Products for Domestic Consumption Index that rose by 0.1%. The Products of Foreign Origin Index remained flat mom.
Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company S.A.
Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company S.A announced today its intention to acquire jointly with The Coca Cola Company, 100% of the shares of Multivita sp.z o.o., the Polish mineral water company owned by Maspex sp.z o.o. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval from the Polish state authorities, involves a production facility at Tylicz and the mineral water brand Multivita. Irial Finan, Managing Director of CCHBC, commented, that this acquisition is a significant further commitment to the company’s operations in Poland. Multivita is vied upon with great potential for continued growth in the rapidly expanding bottled water market.
One of the company’s major shareholders, TELENOR, sold on Wednesday
29.7m shares (9% stake) to institutional investors at €9.16 per share. Telenor Group previously held a total of 18% in Cosmote and this move is in line with its strategy to withdraw from global investments in which it cannot have “full control”.
EFG Eurobank Ergasias
The Greek Progress Fund posted a profit of € 1,076k in the first quarter of 2003 compared with a loss of € 1,073k in the first quarter of 2002. On 31.3.2002 the share of the Fund was traded on the ASE at a discount of 24.9% (NAV per share € 2.53 vs € 1.90 market price). Overall in the first quarter, NAV per share reduced by 9.8%. This compares favorably to the 16.08% fall of the ASE General Index during the same period.
In an EGM held on April 30th, company shareholders approved a share capital increase with the capitalization of reserves increasing the share’s nominal value to €2.00 from €1.70 previously. The company considers to hold a new EGM for shareholders to approve a share capital decrease with a cash disposal to shareholders of €1.00 per share reducing nominal price to €1.00 per share from €2.00. This move targets to improve the company’s capital structure.
The company may sell its 21% equity stake in ISP and Fixed line telco FORTHNET to Putnam Investment Bank in the next two weeks. The delay is reportedly attributed to Telecom Italia’s involvement. Telecom Italia holds a 5% stake in Forthnet.
BANK OF PIRAEUS
The bank has acquired 100% (1m shares in total) of the share capital of its Real
Estate Development Financing subsidiary “REDFIN S.A.” after acquiring 700 thousand shares.
OPAP has turned to the Athens Court of Appeals, in an effort to overturn a previous decision by which it is obliged to pay Intralot €37m for every year that launch of the “stihima” game on horserace betting is delayed. The hearing is scheduled for October 7, 2003.