April re­tail sales post 14 per­cent drop

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greek re­tail sales by vol­ume fell 14.2 per­cent year-on-year in April af­ter a re­vised 5.9 per­cent drop in the pre­vi­ous month, Hel­lenic Sta­tis­ti­cal Au­thor­ity (ELSTAT) said yes­ter­day. Aus­ter­ity mea­sures im­posed by the debt-laden coun­try’s for­eign lenders and record un­em­ploy­ment have hurt pri­vate con­sump­tion, the main driver of its econ­omy. Re­tail sales by vol­ume fell 12 per­cent in 2012, bring­ing the sec­tor’s to­tal con­trac­tion in 2009-2012 to 34 per­cent. showed on Thurs­day. Bank of Greece data showed de­posits in­creased to 163.39 bil­lion eu­ros at the end of May from 162.29 bil­lion at the end of April, when they reg­is­tered their big­gest drop since June 2012. Greek banks lost about a third of their de­posits af­ter the coun­try’s debt cri­sis erupted in late 2009, partly due to cap­i­tal flight on fears of a eu­ro­zone exit. More than 17 bil­lion eu­ros have re­turned to the bank­ing sys­tem since mid-June last year when the elec­tion of a pro-bailout govern­ment eased fears Greece would leave the eu­ro­zone. The in­flows, still a frac­tion of the 90 bil­lion that fled dur­ing the debt cri­sis, help to ease Greek banks’ liq­uid­ity strains and re­duce their de­pen­dence on cen­tral bank fund­ing.


Greece’s bank res­cue fund picked a for­mer Credit Suisse in­vest­ment banker to run Eurobank on Thurs­day, aim­ing to repri­va­tize the coun­try’s fourth-largest lender and re­coup funds it in­jected to plug its cap­i­tal hole. Eurobank was the only one of Greece’s four ma­jor lenders to fall un­der the full con­trol of the Hel­lenic Fi­nan­cial Sta­bil­ity Fund (HFSF), a res­cue ve­hi­cle fi­nanced from Greece’s EU-IMF bailout pack­age, af­ter it was re­cap­i­tal­ized. At the an­nual share­hold­ers meet­ing, HFSF named Chris­tos Me­ga­lou to take over from Nick Nanopou­los as chief ex­ec­u­tive and busi­ness­man Ge­orge David, a ma­jor share­holder in bot­tler Coca-Cola HBC (CCHBC), as the new board chair­man for a three­year term.

BoC can­not fail.

Bank of Cyprus Pcl, the lender forced to im­pose losses on unin­sured de­pos­i­tors in re­turn for the coun­try’s 10-bil­lion-euro bailout, must emerge stronger from the fi­nan­cial cri­sis, an in­de­pen­dent ad­viser on the Cyprus bank­ing sys­tem said. Bank of Cyprus’s ab­sorp­tion of sec­ond-big­gest lender Cyprus Pop­u­lar Bank Pcl is a “dif­fi­cult merger which con­tains con­sid­er­able ex­e­cu­tion risk,” ac­cord­ing to a re­port is­sued on Thurs­day by the In­de­pen­dent Com­mis­sion on the Fu­ture of the Cyprus Bank­ing Sec­tor. “Ev­ery­one has got to put a full ef­fort into mak­ing a suc­cess of this merger, be­cause if it fails one doesn’t re­ally want to think what the con­se­quences of that will be,” David Las­celles, the com­mis­sion’s chair­man, said in an in­ter­view in Ni­cosia. “Bank of Cyprus could emerge in a year and a half or two years as a very strong bank.”

AMCHAM chief.

Simos Anas­ta­sopou­los is the new head of the Amer­i­can-Hel­lenic Cham­ber of Com­merce. He is also the pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of N. Pet­si­avas SA and has been a mem­ber of the cham­ber’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee for the last six years.

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