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Newsletter Δεκέμβριος 2012


Philip Morris Shifts Production to Greece

The global tobacco company is shifting production to Greece from other parts of Europe.

In another boost to, and sign of confidence in, the Greek economy, Philip Morris International has announced a transfer of some of its production from other plants in Europe to its Greek subsidiary, Papastratos. The Papastratos facility is in Aspropyrgos, Western Attica.

Nikitas Theofilopoulos, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Papastratos, announced the decision on December 12, at an event marking the opening of a new production line, at which Deputy Development Minister Notis Mitarachi was in attendance.

At the event, the Papastratos inaugurated a 3-million Euro investment at its plant, to be completed by the end of the month, with output to be exported to 15 countries. Minister Mitarachi said that in the near future new jobs will arise from the private sector, and that important investments such as that by Papastratos boost the economy.

Papastratos also announced that the tobacco industry has also decided to restructure its distribution network in Attica, Thessaloniki and Patra, by appointing exclusive distributors in those areas in order to secure the optimum presence of its products at points of sale and the sustainability of the traditional retail trade.

With that decision, the company intends to create a strong and modern network that will be able to respond effectively to the conditions in the market. The new distribution model, with exclusive distributors, will apply as of June 1, 2013.

Papastratos says it has contributed 1.4 billion Euro to public revenues from tobacco taxes, corresponding to 4 percent of the country’s total revenues. Parent company Philip Morris buys more than 50 percent of the Greek tobacco production, supporting over 12,000 local tobacco farmers.

Philip Morris is the second multinational firm in one month to shift part of its production to Greece. Unilever recently announced it will produce 110 products in Greece. 

CEVA Invests in Greek Wi-Fi Specialist Antcor
U.S.-based chip IP specialist CEVA Inc. said it will make a minority equity investment in wireless software IP provider Antcor.

Antcor specializes in IP software for Wi-Fi in handsets, machine-to-machine and small cell applications. The investment complements CEVA's strategy for developing Wi-Fi802.11ac software with its CEVA-XCDSP wireless platform to support multiple air interfaces and protocols.

Antcor’s software IP primarily targets applications with multiple air interfaces such as LTE-Advanced, HSPA+, TV broadcasting, Bluetooth, GNSS and smart home networks. The company's Wi-Fi IP offering includes both PHY and MAC layers.

December 9, 2012

Olive Oil Production Posts Substantial Increase
Olive oil production in Greece during the current harvesting season is expected to reach 350,000 tons, up from the same period in 2011, during which production reached 295,000 tons.

According to a Panhellenic Confederation of Unions of Agricultural Cooperatives (PASEGES) report, based on Agriculture Ministry data, local consumption of olive oil over the last three years was roughly 230,000 tons per year.

Olive oil exports reached 100,000 tons and the prospects are very encouraging. Greek olive oil is exported to Italy, Germany, USA and Canada, while China and Russia are among the important emerging markets for Greek olive oil.

December 1, 2012
Source: ANA

Greece Tops Eurozone's Adjustment Progress Indicator
Greece tops the list detailing the performance of the 17 Eurozone members, according to a report by the Lisbon Council think tank. However, the overall picture of the Greek economy is not as good as it might be as a result of widespread speculation over the last two years vis-à-vis the country's presence in the Eurozone.

Greece posted the largest adjustment progress indicator (8.2) and presented the greatest change within a period of one year (1.6), followed by Ireland, Estonia, Spain and Portugal.

November 30, 2012

Qatar to Launch New Athens-NY Daily Flight
Qatar Airways will launch a daily, year-round Athens to New York flight in mid-June 2013, the airline's CEO Akbar Al Baker announced. Al Baker said that Qatar Airways supports its presence in Greece not only in good times but also in the period of crisis, adding that Greece is an important market for the company.

"We will continue to support our presence in Greece, also creating new jobs," he said. Qatar Airways added Athens to its rapidly-growing international network in mid-June 2005 with the launch of non-stop scheduled flights from Doha to the Greek capital. The inaugural flight from Doha touched down at Athens' “Eleftherios Venizelos” International Airport (AIA) on June 16, 2005.

Asked whether other companies in Qatar plan to invest in Greece, Al Baker noted that the companies in his country proceed with investments without any 'grand announcements' preceding them, adding that Qatar has expressed its "strong commitment" for investments in Greece.

Athens is a hub for 31 European destinations that are contained in Qatar Airways’ network of itineraries, which commenced in 2005 with six weekly flights to Athens and increased to two daily flights three years ago.

The Athens-Doha flight has become the top destination, in absolute number of passengers, at the AIA, surpassing the airport's New York destination for the first time in the AIA's history.

Al Baker also reiterated his company's commitment to continue developing the Athens route.

November 29, 2012
Source: ANA

EIB Approves 650-Million-Euro Road Projects Loan
The European Investment Bank (EIB) approved a 650-million Euro loan to Greece aimed to support the restart of work on major Greek road projects. The loan will cover the Greek state’s financial obligations for the national Patras-Athens-Thessaloniki network, with benefits for all contractors.

“The decision will have significant impact on employment and development and will help towards the recovery of the Greek economy,” according to the Development Ministry.

EIB is supporting Greece’s efforts to return to growth and plans to approve a credit facility of more than 700 million Euro aimed for small- and medium-size enterprises in the transport, education and energy sectors.

November 23, 2012
Source: ANA

Eight Suitors for State’s OPAP Stake
As the Hellenic Republic State Development Fund (TAIPED) announced, Greece’s most prized state asset, gaming company OPAP, has attracted no fewer than eight bids for the sale of a 33 percent stake.

The offers are from BC Partners, Emma Delta Ltd, the Gauselmann-Playtech-Helvason consortium, the Intralot Holdings Luxembourg-Intralot Investments Ltd consortium, Primrose Treasure Ltd, Third Point LLC, TPG Capital, and Triple Five World Group Properties Ltd.

According to OPAP’s stock price, a 33 percent stake is valued at around 500 million Euro, which the market deems a bargain.

November 10, 2012

Five Bids for DEPA – DESFA
The Hellenic Republic State Development Fund (TAIPED) expressed its satisfaction for the privatization process of the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) and the National Operator of Natural Gas (DESFA).

In total, four offers were submitted for DEPA and one for DESFA. For DEPA, offers were submitted by the Russian Gazprom and Negusneft, the state gas company of Azerbaijan, Socar, and the Greek consortium of M+M Group of Mytillinaiou –Vardinoyannis. For DESFA, an offer was submitted by the consortium of the Greek company GEK-TEPNA and the Czech fund PPF.

The interest in DEPA confirms the importance of Greece’s geopolitical position as a transport bridge of gas from Asia to Europe.

November 7, 2012

Early 2013 Acquisition of the Hellenic Duty Free Shops (KAE)
Within the first ten days of 2013 the transaction for the acquisition of 51% of the Hellenic Duty Free Shops (KAE) by the Swiss group of Dufry AG will be completed. The administrations of the two groups are in constant communication, and members of the Swiss group have already been informed about the investment plan. The Swiss will retain the Greek management with the participation of Mr. Dimitris and George Koutsolioutsou and George Velentzas. Dufry acquired the Hellenic Duty Free Shops for three reasons. First, because of the long concession for tax exemption with the Greek government; second, for its good image; and third, because the Swiss group aims through Hellenic Duty Free Shops at expanding its travel retail operations in the Mediterranean region.

November 3, 2012

New Greece-Italy Sea Link with Trieste Terminal
The Minoan Lines coastal shipping company announced that it has extended its existing Patras-Igoumenitsa-Ancona itinery with the addition of Trieste as the terminal port.
According to the company, which is member of the Grimaldi Group, the new sea link will be carried out by the cruise ferries Cruise Europa and Cruise Olympia ferries and the ultra-modern Europa Link. The sea link will operate three times a week.

October 26, 2012
Source: ANA

“Financial Times” – Investment in Athens
The Financial Times announced the opening of a new digital print center in Athens in order to increase the availability of the newspaper and, for the first time, its distribution around the country on release day. The operation of the new digital center started from October 5th through the Greek Foreign Press Distribution Agency. The facility uses digital high-speed inkjet web press technology.

Source: http://aboutus.ft.com/