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Newsletter October 2011


$ 1 billion Qatari Investment
A major, $ 1 billion investment in Greece demonstrates trust in the Greek economy.

Qatar's sovereign wealth fund will invest $1 billion in European Goldfields, including $600 million to finance operations in Greece, where the London-based firm has a permit to mine gold, the fund's head said on October 1.

This major investment announcement follows the decision by Qatar to provide funding in the merger of two of Greece’s largest banks—Alpha Bank and Eurobank— announced in August.

Qatar Holdings will buy a 10% stake in European Goldfields from Greek building firm Ellaktor with an option to purchase an additional 5%.
The announcement was made following a meeting in Athens between Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Qatar Holdings CEO Ahmad al-Sayed made the announcement and said, "In total, we will invest in the company about $1 billion." In addition, the CEO said Qatar was "examining different opportunities in the country."

"Qatar's investments show trust in the Greek economy," Mr. Papandreou said following the meeting. “We have built a very strong bond of mutual respect, and we Greeks are especially pleased that this bond leads to investments in our country,” Mr. Papandreou said.

The Emir, in a statement with Prime Minister Papandreou, expressed his optimism that Greece could overcome the current economic crisis and voiced hope to increase cooperation with Greece.

European Goldfields was granted a permit in July to mine for gold in Kassandra, in north Greece. Reuters announced it is expected that the company will be the largest gold producer in the European Union.

Qatar Holding (QH), a global investment house, was established in 2006 by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). QH invests internationally and locally in strategic private and public equity as well as in other direct investments.

October 3, 2011

Attracting French Investment
Development, Competitiveness & Shipping Minister Michalis Chryssochoidis urged French business leaders to invest in Greece, saying that the country was radically changing to “adopt a new productivity model, more competitive, more export-orientated and more friendly to enterprises.”

Addressing an event in Paris organised by the French-Hellenic Chamber on investment opportunities in Greece, Mr. Chryssochoidis stressed that a new investment law offered significant investment incentives and new services while it eliminated bureaucratic procedures.

“We began a major effort,” the Greek minister said, adding that German Economy Minister Philipp Rösler recently visited Greece and signed a memorandum of understanding envisaging efforts to attracting large and medium-sized investments to Greece.

Mr. Chryssohoidis said that similar contacts have been made with the Dutch government. He noted that French enterprises were the second largest investor in Greece, with investments in the real economy with long-term planning, and stressed that Greece was currently in need of serious medium-term investments—the main characteristic of French investments.

Mr. Chryssochoidis met with the heads of the Oseo investment bank, a state bank used to finance innovative small- and medium-sized enterprises, the Head of MEDEF—France’s employers’ union—and with the board of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development OECD.

October 12, 2011

Greece, Belarus Sign Tourism Agreement
Greece and Belarus have concluded a cooperation agreement in tourism. The document was signed in South Korea’s Gyeongju, that was hosting the 19th session of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organisation.

October 11, 2011

Abu Dhabi Expresses Interest in Greek Tourism
"There has been interest from Abu Dhabi in Greece’s tourism sector," said Pavlos Geroulanos, Greece's Minister of Culture and Tourism, who was in South Korea. "Mostly they are looking for areas that can be developed as resorts.  "We have created a portfolio of assets, most of them related to the tourism industry, that can be privatised and invested in by foreign investors," Mr. Geroulanos said.

Greece was likely to try to raise investment in infrastructure development, including ports and marinas, the minister said. One of the things that will change tourism in Greece significantly is how we are preparing the country to become more efficient in attracting foreign direct investment," Mr. Geroulanos said.

October 10, 2011
Gulf in the Media

Green Light for Hydrocarbon Exploration
Greece’s Inner Cabinet gave the "green light" for hydrocarbon (oil) exploration and drilling in three regions of Greece.

The Cabinet gave the go-ahead for oil exploration in an area in the Gulf of Patras, west of Ioannina in Epirus prefecture, and in the region of Katakolo in Ileia prefecture, with an estimated potential of 250-300 million barrels over a period of 15-20 years.

"This is the first time that Greece is doing this, and everything will be conducted with full transparency," said Environment, Energy and Climate Change Deputy Minister Yannis Maniatis.

The entire process is slated for completion in a year's time, with the announcement of the winner of the tender, while in 18 months activities are set to commence with the installation of the required drilling equipment.

According to available information, oil deposits in the Patras Gulf are estimated at 200 million barrels, in the Ioannina region at 80 million barrels and in Katakolo at 3 million barrels. Calculated with the international forecasts for oil prices, which are expected to reach 150 dollars a barrel in the next few years, the estimated value of the three deposits is approximately 25 billion Euros over a 15-year-period, of which 13-14 billion Euros are anticipated to enter the state coffers.

At the same time, procedures are being completed for the commencement of seismic studies for possible hydrocarbon deposits in the entire region of the Ionian and southern Crete, given that early indications have been "encouraging".

October 8, 2011

Greece, Poland Agreement
Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister George Nikitiadis and Polish Tourism Ministry Undersecretary of State Katarzyna Sobierajska signed an agreement laying the foundations for the further development of tourist cooperation between Greece and Poland and the strengthening of the relations between the two countries.

The agreement anticipates the promotion of cooperation between the tourist authorities, with the aim of increasing arrivals and encouraging cooperation between private businesses and agencies. 

October 8, 2011

Greece, Ukraine Sign Accords
In the framework of the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s state visit to Greece, the signing of bilateral documents has taken place, focusing on air links, health care, justice, and investment. President Yanukovych held meetings with the President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias.

October 6, 2011

Second Round of New Investment Law Launched
The second phase for submitting investment projects under the New Investment Law (Law 3908/2011) was activated on October 1, 2011. Investors may submit their investment plans falling under the general schemes of the Investment Law (General Business, Regional Cohesion, Technological Development) until October 31, 2011 to qualify for the available investment incentives such as capital grants, tax exemptions, leasing, and favourable bank loans through the Entrepreneurship and Development Fund (E.T.E.AN). It should be noted that for the general category of large investment projects (more than 50 million Euros), it is possible to submit proposals throughout the year.

The total amount of state aid for the second phase of the Investment Law totals 3.27 billion Euros, of which 2.37 billion is in the form of tax exemptions and 900 million in the form of capital grants and leasing.

The first invitation to submit plans of general schemes, which launched the implementation of the new Investment Law in May, is in the final stage, following the timetables set out in the Law. All the investment schemes submitted to the Ministry’s central services in Athens and Thessaloniki have been evaluated and out of these 63 projects with a total budget of 402,015, 074 Euros that create 497 jobs have already been approved.

Those investors who submitted their investment proposal to the Central Office and the Business Development Unit (Thessaloniki) of the Ministry of Development, Competitiveness and Shipping, may visit the website to be informed about the final evaluation of their proposal. Soon, the results of the investment proposals submitted in the regions will be posted.  Deputy Minister for Development, Competitiveness and Shipping, Mr. Thanos Moraitis said: "The New Investment Law is an extremely useful tool for the investment decisions of businesses and for the support of quality, sustainable and productive investments. The new institutional framework guarantees transparency, efficiency, objectivity and speed. For the first time under the Investment Law, the entrepreneurs are able to know the results of the evaluation of their proposals, the amount of state aid they will receive if eligible and the time of payment within six months after submission of their investment plan. We are proud because the evaluation of investment schemes of the first cycle of the new investment law was completed on time, in full compliance with our original commitments in terms of transparency and speed of processing and evaluating applications. A new era is dawning in the relations between investors and the public sector. "

September 29, 2011

e-Auction for Pharmaceuticals
Greece’s National Procurement Commission will hold the second electronic auction for the supply of 13 drastic substances, worth 95,693,160 Euros, to cover the pharmaceutical needs of all public hospitals in the country. The e-auction will be held on Monday, 31 October.

The Commission said that its first international electronic auction for the supply of pharmaceutical products, based on the drastic substance, saved thousands of Euros. A third international e-auction, budgeted at 107,156,943 Euros is scheduled in mid-November.

September 17, 2011

Deliberation on Waste Management Commences
Waste management is a major challenge facing Greece. Within this framework, a coordinated effort, with the collaboration of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, the Ministry of Interior, and the Region of Attica, for the auctioning of infrastructure projects for the management of waste in the Region of Attica, and to promote integrated solutions for recycling and the utilisation of waste, has been launched.

The Greek Government has already announced, with a preliminary notice, published in the Annex to the Official Journal of the European Union, its intention to launch an international competition for a Contractor for the projects of processing and managing 1,350,000 tons of waste annually in Attica for 20-25 years. The projects should be fully operational in 2014.

The main objective aim of this effort is the final and permanent solution to the problem of waste management in Attica and the achievement of an optimum environmental outcome at the lowest possible cost to citizens. The complexity and urgency of the project, combined with the constant evolution of technology in the field of waste management, require public consultation on this project. For this reason, the Greek Government and the Attica Region began public deliberation, which will end on October 31, 2011, inviting the participation of potential investors and stakeholders,

• To shape the final framework of the tendering process in terms of absolute transparency
•  To ensure fair competition
•  To attract credible, experienced and skilled investors

During the deliberation process, emphasis will be on identifying:

• The minimum objectives of the project
• The optimal bidding process and the appropriate funding scheme
•  The quantity of waste, in relation to the goals of reduction and recycling, for which the Greek State provides a guarantee
•  The final form of the competition regarding possible segmentation
•  Technological issues to be addressed

All information regarding the design, construction, financing and operation of the Waste Management Units within the Integrated Waste Management Facilities of Attica is posted and available on the website of the Region of Attica.
The available documentation of the consultation is not considered a contractual element of the project, which directly or indirectly creates any legal obligations, either currently or in the future.

September, 15, 2011 

Hellenic Bottling Co. in Major Investment Move
The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co. announced a five-year investment programme worth 3.0 billion US dollars which will begin in 2012, the two companies said during the inauguration of a new Coca-Cola factory in Rostov, Russia.

August 12, 2011

Deutsche Telekom Raises Stake
Deutsche Telekom AG has raised its equity stake in the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) to 40 percent, following the completion of the purchase of a further 10 percent stake on July 11.

Deutsche Telekom now holds an equity stake of 40.00000008 percent, which translates to 196,060,156 shares, and the corresponding voting rights.

According to an announcement by the Athens Stock Exchange before the transaction, Deutsche Telekom held an equity stake of 30.0000002 percent, corresponding to 147,045,118 shares and the respective voting rights.

July 15, 2011