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  • HELLENIC EXCHANGES HOLDINGS S.A.: European Recognition for the Athens Exchange Mr. Spyros Capralos, President of the Athens Exchange and Managing Director of Hellenic Exchanges Holding S.A., recently became a member of the Board of Directors of FESE (Federation of European Stock Exchanges). The elections were held in Brussels last Wednesday, November 30 during FESE's general meeting, and appointed five new members of the Board, namely Mr. Spyros Capralos (ATHEX), Mr. Adam Kinsley (LSE), Mr. Olivier Lefebvre (Euronext), Mr. Axel Nawrath (Deutsche Borse), Mr. Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy (Budapest Stock Exchange) and re-elected Mr. Massimo Capuano (Borsa Italiana) as Chairman and Mr. Jukka Ruuska (OMX Exchanges) as Vice Chairman. The Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE) represents operators of the European regulated markets and other market segments. Originally set up in 1974 as a small forum of Stock Exchanges in Europe, FESE today numbers 25 Full Members such as Euronext (Euronext Amsterdam, Euronext Brussels, Euronext Lisbon, Euronext Paris,, OMX Exchanges (Stockholm Stock Exchange, Helsinki Stock Exchange, Copenhagen Stock Exchange, Riga Stock Exchange, Tallinn Stock Exchange, Vilnius Stock Exchange) representing close to 40 Securities Exchanges and clearing houses from all the EU countries and Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland, as well as several Corresponding Members from other non-EU countries. FESE cooperates with European settlement and securities depository organisations and works closely with the European Association of Central Counterparty Clearing Houses (EACH). The Federation's goal is to represent and promote the common interests of the European Stock Exchanges, as well as informing all interested parties about decision making at European level and promoting policy in terms of political and legislative issues to assure goal attainment as defined by EU treaties. In the last two years the Athens Exchange is re-emerging as a marketplace that promises not only investment opportunities but undertakes a drive to establish itself as a hub for the Capital Markets of the South Eastern Europe. The Exchange's President, Mr. Capralos, is determined to "shape up the market", joining forces with qualified parties such as the Hellenic Capital Market Commission etc. Mr. Capralos participation in the Federation confirms the acknowledgment - at European level - of the effort towards the upgrading and efficiency of the Greek stock market. It should be noted that this is the initiation of the Greek presence at the command of FESE. Referring to his election, Mr. Capralos noted that: "it is truly an honor for me, but also for the Athens Exchange, given that the endeavor for the Stock Exhanges' advancement as well as its role in the development of the SE European capital market is recognized. This honor reflects the efforts of the total of the Exchanges' executives, that are going to become even more intense in 2006". by Capital Link
  • BANK OF CYPRUS PUBLIC COMPANY LTD: Autonomous Growth The Bank of Cyprus Group continues its growth course, maintaining high growth rates. In particular loan growth reached 12% for the whole Group, while loan growth for Greek operations reached 22% year-on-year to 30 September 2005. Among its portfolio of services strengths is leasing, comprising of 17%-18% of the Greek market, while the Bank notes dynamic expansion in its factoring services. Mr. Yiannis Kyrpi, Group Chief General Manager, recently noted that the Bank of Cyprus Group will focus on expanding its activities not only in Greece but also in the Russian and Romanian markets through the development of its own network. The Bank has already acquired the necessary approvals by the Central Bank of Cyrpus regarding its activities in Russia and Romania and is presently preparing to apply for the necessary licensing. The aim is to begin operations in these markets by 2007. As far as Greek operations are concerned, the Group enjoys strong position in the market, representing 48% of total Group Loans, estimated to reach 50% in the following three years. Strong performance The Group financial results for the 9 months 2005 confirm the return of the Group to the positive track as set in the Group's three year strategic plan (2005 - 2007). The reorganization of the Group's activities in Cyprus combined with the cost containment and income enhancement plans had positive results and the dynamic expansion of the Group in Greece continued. At 30 September 2005, the Group reported a 66% increase in profits after tax, at Euro 88 million versus 53 million in the respective previous year period while core profits marked an increase of 24% at Euro 129 million versus Euro 104 million. In Cyprus, core profit recorded a 36% increase to reach Euro 74 million. In Greece, core profit reached Euro 47 million, increasing by 12%, while in the remaining regions core profits increased by 2%. Τhe Bank of Cyprus Group is the largest listed company in the Cyprus Stock Exchange in terms of market cap (Euro 1.82 billion) and the leading Cypriot banking and financial services organization. It has extensive presence in Greece, the United Kingdom and Australia and also representation in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Russia and Romania. At 30 September 2005, the Group's Total Assets reached euro 20,58bn and the Group's Shareholders' Funds were euro 1,09bn. by Capital Link
  • SPIROU AGRICULTURAL HOUSE S.A.: "Growing" into new markets in the Mediterranean Spirou House of Agriculture S.A. is a rapidly growing company, active in the agricultural technology sector. The company since its incorporation in 1947 till today has exploited its' research capabilities and has grown to become a major player in breeding, production and distribution of seeds, offering to professional farmers a wide range of advanced technology seeds and seedlings for vegetable farming as well as seeds for large scale agricultural farming (Cotton-Corn-Sunflower-Alfalfa-Sugar beet-Sorghum). Spirou is organized in a Group of eight 100%-owned subsidiaries both in Greece and abroad and was listed in the Athens Exchange in 1997. The company researches and develops its own products which then are customized for particular agricultural markets in order to provide superior tailor made products for the farming industry, aiming to add value to the farmers' produce and crops. In the past few years the Company has advanced to a multinational firm with research and production operations worldwide (Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Chile, Argentina, China, Thailand, S. Africa, Australia) in order to create products for a wide range of climate requirements with sales all over the Mediterranean region through an integrated distribution network of four distribution centres in Italy, Spain, Turkey and Lebanon. In Greece the Group holds a leading position in seeding production with high market share in major products. Spirou Agricultural is listed on the Athens Exchange (ASE - SPIR, Reuters - AGSr.AT, Bloomberg – SPIR GA,) and has a market capitalization of € 31.5 million. Group turnover for Q2 05 reported in September 2005 reached €15.6 million in comparison to €12.7 million in Q2 04. Gross Profit in Q2 05 reached €7.4 million against €6.1 million in Q2 04. Finally, Profits before Tax increased 83% amounted €3.5 million relatively to €1.9 million in Q2 04.
  • EFG EUROBANK ERGASIAS S.A.: EFG Eurobank Sweeps Banking Awards EFG Eurobank's achievements and performance have been widely recognized as evidenced by the numerous international awards the bank has been receiving. The Banker magazine for the fourth time named EFG Euroban as the "Bank of the Year 2005" for Greece. For the third time, the Bank was selected by the internationally renowned Global Finance magazine as the "Best Bank in Greece for 2005". Banks in each country are judged across a range of criteria including last year's performance, as well as their reputation and management quality. As Mr. Giarraputo, the magazine's publisher, said "this distinction recognizes each bank's performance; irrespective of varying market conditions, what distinguishes the award winning bank is its ongoing commitment to satisfying its clients' needs". At the same time, Global Finance has selected EFG Eurobank as the "Best Consumer Internet Bank" as well as the "Best Corporate Internet Bank" in the Greek market. The rating criteria included the Bank’s strategy in providing e-services to its clients, its ability to attract new clients, the scope and quality of its products and services, as well as the design and functionality of its Web site. Furthermore, for a second consecutive year EFG has won the Global Custodian "Domestic Top Rated" distinction for its custodian services and the top "Commended" distinction for the quality of its services to foreign institutional investors. The annual rating criteria range from service excellence, staff expertise and flexible to user-friendly technology, as well as quality of service offered to the Custody Department clients. by Capital Link
  • BANK OF CYPRUS PUBLIC COMPANY LTD: Profitable and Awarded International Awards Recently the Bank earned yet another international recognition. In early September and for the fifth time in six years The Banker magazine proclaimed Bank of Cyprus as Bank of the Year for Cyprus. The Bank achieved significant improvement in profitability indicators, arising from cost cutting, in parallel with an increase in income in Cyprus and in Greece. Profit after tax for H105 increased by 98%. The Group's cost to income ratio decreased from 67,3% in 2003 to 62,0% in 2004 and 59,1% in H105. As Mr. Andreas Eliades, Group Chief Executive Officer, stated "The Bank of Cyprus Group continues its efforts to increase profitability with the continued dynamic penetration of the Greek market and its plans to expand beyond its traditional markets to new markets that present high growth opportunities. In parallel, the Group has intensified its efforts to improve pricing, risk management and cost containment. The main focus of the group is to provide customers with the best quality service using increasingly cost effective procedures, through a variety of alternative distribution channels and innovative products that aim to satisfy the needs of each and every customer." Growth Strategy The Group's strategic plan for 2005-2007 three year period includes among other things, increase in productivity in line with organizational restructuring of the customer service network. In parallel the Bank of Cyprus Group plans to further develop customer services through the introduction of new products and entrance into new markets. Moreover the organization aims to improve its loan portfolio quality and continue its dynamic expansion overseas. In this context the Group aims by 2007 to increase Return on Equity (ROE) to more than 13%, and reduce its cost to income ratio to below 58% compared to 59% in H105. Τhe Bank of Cyprus Group is the largest listed company in the Cyprus Stock Exchange in terms of market cap (Euro 1.82 billion) and one of the top Cypriot banking and financial services organization. It has extensive presence in Greece, the United Kingdom and Australia and also representation in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Russia and Romania. At 30 June 2005, the Group reported a remarkable increase in profits after tax by 98%, at Euro 55 million versus 28 million in H104. In Cyprus, core profit recorded a 52% increase to reach Euro 82 million. In Greece, core profit reached Euro 50 million, contributing 35% to the Group total, while in the UK and Australia core profits increased by 30%. Group equity in H105 amounted to Euro 1.03 billion while total assets reached Euro 19.84 billion. by Capital Link