Greek bank rescue fund deputy CEO resigns-source

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 | Finance News

ATHENS (Reuters) - The deputy chief executive at Greece's bank rescue fund, the vehicle in charge of recapitalizing the country's top lenders, resigned on Tuesday, the second senior executive to leave the fund in the last three months.

The resignation of Deputy CEO Marios Koliopoulos from the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) follows the departure of the fund's Dutch chairman Paul Koster in March, who stepped down, citing personal reasons.

Funded with 50 billion euros ($64 billion) from the country's European Union/International Monetary Fund bailout, the HFSF was set up to recapitalize Greece's major banks and cover the cost of winding down others deemed non-viable.

"Mr. Koliopoulos resigned over a disagreement on legal procedures," said a senior HFSF executive, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Koliopoulos declined to comment.

In May the rescue fund appointed former UBS executive Christos Sklavounis as the new chairman to replace Koster.

Greece's four big lenders - National Bank , Piraeus , Alpha and Eurobank - which incurred heavy losses from a sovereign debt swap and impaired loans, completed their recapitalization last month.

The HFSF now owns majority stakes in all four lenders and exercises full control of Eurobank.

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Louise Heavens)


Rosneft buys rest of Itera from founder for $2.9 billion

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 | Finance News

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Rosneft , Russia's top oil producer, said on Tuesday it had bought the remaining 49 percent of gas company Itera for $2.9 billion from its founder, furthering its aim of becoming Russia's largest independent gas producer.

CEO Igor Sechin wants to make Rosneft a global energy player and is aiming for output of 100 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year by 2020 from about 13 bcm last year, versus dominant gas producer Gazprom's 479 bcm.

With Russia's No. 2 gas producer Novatek , it is lobbying for access to export liquefied natural gas (LNG), a right held only by Gazprom. Rosneft and Novatek are planning new LNG facilities in Asia and Siberia respectively.

Itera is Rosneft's second big acquisition after its $55-billion takeover of TNK-BP, once Russia's No. 3 oil producer.

Founder Igor Makarov built Itera up to be a top gas supplier to the former Soviet Union republics in the 1990s thanks to its good ties with his native Turkmenistan and his friendship with former Gazprom executive Rem Vyakhirev.

After a management shake-up at Gazprom in the early 2000s, Itera's business started to shrink, especially after Gazprom secured the monopoly on Russian gas exports in 2006.

Russia, the world's No. 1 crude producer, has lost its pole position in gas production to the United States in the last few years. Moscow is trying to keep its global influence by building new LNG facilities and promoting "gas OPEC", the 13-member Gas Exporting Countries Forum.

(Reporting by Polina Devitt; Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Louise Ireland)


Air freight market struggled to grow in May: IATA

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 | Finance News

GENEVA (Reuters) - The international air freight market grew by a mere 0.1 percent in May compared to April, and was up 0.8 percent from May 2012, as slowing business confidence and weaker Asian trade undermined cargo demand, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Tuesday.

Planes also flew with more spare cargo capacity in May than a year previously, which will erode airline profits. But a recent easing of the decline in demand in the euro zone could help improve the global market overall, IATA said.

"For the moment, however, levels of business confidence are barely above stagnation and world trade growth remains subdued in advanced economies, both of which will continue to place downward pressure on air freight demand," IATA said.

(Reporting by Tom Miles, editing by)