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Athens News Agency: News in English, 00-05-25
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Women - Research25/05/2000 22:18:26
The number of women in most sectors of economic, social and political life is increasing all the time, but their presence in scientific research and development in Europe is minimal, contributors to a conference on the subject of "Women and Science" said in Athens on Thursday.
Head of the Women and Science Department of the European Commission's General Directorate for Research, Nicole Devant, said the Commission aimed to encourage a debate on the exchange of experiences among member-states and develop a single approach in the promotion of women in research projects financed by the Union.
 Alternate FM - Spain25/05/2000 22:07:55
Alternate Foreign Minister Elisavet Papazoi and her Spanish counterpart Ramon de Miguel, who met in Madrid on Wednesday, exchanged views on the Inter-Governmental Conference and planning ahead of the French Presidency, particularly on the possibilities for certain member-states to implement policies without the participation of all others.
The two officials also discussed Cyprus, Greek-Turkish relations and issues relating to the implementation of rulings of the European Court of Human Rights and developing Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.
 Turkey-Greece-Photographs-Album25/05/2000 22:02:38
Five Greek photographers are in Istanbul to take photos of day-to-day activities in the city. In cooperation with five Turkish colleagues of theirs, they are participating in the publication of a Greek-Turkish album which will include photos taken of Athens by Turkish photographers and of Istanbul by Greeks.
The album's text, titled "Merhaba (hail) Athens-Haire (hail)Istanbul-The neighbouring side through the eyes of the photographer", will be written by Turkish historian Engin Ozendes, while the Turkish bank Pamukbank will sponsor the initiative in cooperation with the Turkish Historical Foundation.
 Papandreou-Albright-Cem-Florence25/05/2000 20:17:05
FLORENCE, Italy, (ANA A. Podimata) - Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Thursday met with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright here and discussed developments in the Balkans, focusing on Kosovo and Yugoslavia.
Following the meeting, which took place at the sidelines of the NATO foreign ministers meeting, Papandreou noted that ?our allies in NATO in general, and the United States in particular,? recognised that Greece is an important country in promoting peace and stability in the Balkans.
He added that they also recognised that Greece has put forward realistic proposals and ideas in confronting the problems of the region.
 Foreign Exchange Rates-Friday25/05/2000 19:54:22
Following are indicative foreign exchange rates for commercial banks released by the central bank for the next working day.
Fridays rates (buying)
U.S. dollar 370.552
 Weather Forecast-Friday25/05/2000 18:49:59
The day will start sunny on Friday, turning to scattered cloud on the mainland in the evening with intermittent storms likely on high ground in Epirus, Macedonia and Thrace.
 Pension funds-investment25/05/2000 17:06:42
A Mutual Fund Management Company, a government-sponsored fund aimed to attract pension funds' reserve capital, is expected to file an operation licence application to the country's Capital Markets' Committee in the next few days.
Greece's three largest pension funds (IKA, OAE and OGA) are expected to deposit around 600 billion drachmas with the mutual fund company, aiming to ensure a more professional portfolio management.
National Bank of Greece, the Social Security Institution (IKA), the Farmers' Security Organisation (OGA) and the Traders and Craftsmen Security Organisation (OAE) will be the exclusive shareholders in the mutual funds' management company, with a 40 pct, 30 pct, 15 pct and 15 pct share, respectively.
Miltiades Nektarios, Social Security Institution's governor, said that funds invested would not exceed the current invested capital to stock shares, and noted that other pension funds would be urged to participate.
Greece's social security organisation's reserves exceed 3.5 trillion drachmas.
Panayiotis Katsoulas, general manager at Diethniki Mutual Funds, a National Bank's affiliate, is expected to head the mutual funds management company.
 Alpha Insurance-results25/05/2000 16:46:29
Alpha Insurance, the insurance affiliate of Alpha Bank, on Thursday reported a 47.3 percent rise in 1999 net premium to 26.8 billion drachmas, of which 11.3 billion were life insurance premiums (up 71 pct) and 15.5 billion drachmas were damage premiums (up 33.7 pct).
The company's profits totalled 4.0 billion drachmas, boosted by real estate sales, worth 2.1 billion drachmas.
Alpha Insurance expects 2000 profits at 4.0 billion drachmas.
The company's chief executive, Ducas Palaeologos, told reporters during a news conference that Alpha Insurance aimed to raising its share in the domestic insurance market to 10 percent by 2002.
It also planned to expand activities in the Balkans, Romania and Albania in particular. In Romania, Alpha Insurance plans to set up an affiliate company.
 Helexpo-partial privatisation25/05/2000 16:30:47
The Greek government decided the partial privatisation of Helexpo-Thessaloniki International Fair after two failed attempts to sell the company, a meeting, chaired by National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, announced on Thursday.
The plan envisages offering Helexpo an equity stake up to 45 percent, selling a 25-30 percent stake to a private investor who will also take over the management of the company, and the remaining equity stake to be floated in the Athens Stock Exchange.
The Greek state currently owns a 100 percent of Helexpo.
Final decision are expected to be taken early next month following completion of a report by ETEBAbank, the government's consultant to the sale.
 Lambropoulos Bros-1st quarter results25/05/2000 16:29:35
Lambropoulos Bros ABEE, a listed department stores company, on Thursday reported that its turnover totalled 5.3 billion drachmas in the first quarter of 2000, up 12.2 percent from the same period last year.
The company's net profits increased by 12 percent to 320.7 million drachmas, from 285.8 million drs last year, while its operational profits jumped 20 percent to 1.328 billion drachmas.
Lambropoulos expects sales to total 26 billion drachmas this year, up from 22 billion in 1999, its net profits to rise to 1.7 billion drachmas from 1.3 bln and its operational profits to increase to 2.1 billion drachmas from 1.3 bln last year.
 Vernicos Yachts-1st quarter results25/05/2000 16:22:21
Vernicos Yacths, a listed Greek yacht charter company, on Thursday reported that its 1st quarter net income totalled 249 million drachmas from 180 million the same period last year, up 38.5 percent.
Charter income totalled 58 million drachmas.
The company expects its final net income to total 900 million drachmas this year, up from 582 million in 1999.
Vernicos Yachts recently successfully completed a share capital increase plan worth 5.35 billion drachmas. The new capital will be used to fund the company's ambitious investment programme.
 ASE-close25/05/2000 16:05:08
A wave of buying for smaller capitalisation shares helped the Athens Stock Exchange to a modest rebound on Thursday, after a three-day decline which pushed the market 5.24 percent lower.
The general index ended at 4,560.84 points, up 0.21 percent, but off the day's highs of 4,602.45 points. Turnover was a moderate 192 billion drachmas.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks ended 0.27 percent lower at 2,520.47 points and the FTSE/ASE 40 index jumped 1.57 percent to 669.48 points.
The parallel market index for smaller capitalisation stocks ended at 959.60 points, up 5.79 percent.
 Greece-ports-flotation25/05/2000 15:19:14
The Greek government will seek a speedy privatisation of the country's two major ports, Piraeus and Thessaloniki, National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and Merchant Marine Minister Christos Papoutsis said on Thursday.
A government's economic team meeting decided that valuations of the Organisations of Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports would begin shortly to proceed with their planned flotation.
The flotation plan for the Piraeus Port Organisation is expected to be finalised early next month, while a decision was taken to set up a Thessaloniki Port Organisation affiliate, covering all its assets, before its final flotation.
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