BUSINESS

In Brief

Closed-end funds trade at discount in September Shares in Greece's eight listed closed-end funds traded at a discount to their underlying net asset value in September, Association of Institutional Investors data showed yesterday. The association said investment funds traded at discounts ranging from 18.2 to 54.5 percent, with the sector's weighted average discount at 39.8 percent. Closed-end funds, unlike open-end mutual funds, have a set number of shares. They trade like other securities. The listed funds had a combined 281 million euros ($381 million) in assets under management, down 6.8 percent from a month earlier due to falling stock prices on the Athens stock exchange. All eight funds had negative returns on net asset value in the third quarter, ranging from -12.43 to -43.39 percent. All outperformed the Athens bourse's benchmark general index, which lost 45 percent in the period. (Reuters) OTE made 33 mln euros of provisions for fines The Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE), Greece's biggest telephone company, said it has made provisions in past years for about 33 million euros ($45 million) in fines imposed by the country's regulator. OTE has resorted to administrative courts to challenge the total of 60 million euros in fines imposed by the regulator, the Athens-based company said in a bourse filing yesterday. That figure includes a fine of 11 million euros imposed on Friday for not promptly opening up its network to rivals. (Bloomberg) Easing inflation Greek consumer price inflation, among the highest in the eurozone, is seen easing from record highs in September, helped by falling energy prices, economists said yesterday. September inflation is expected to slow to a 4.5 percent annual pace from 4.7 percent in August, according to the average forecast by four economists surveyed by Reuters. «September CPI (slowed) due to the decline in the average world oil prices... and a strong base effect from last year,» said Ilias Lekkos, an economist at Piraeus Bank. Still, Greece's projected inflation in September will be almost a full percentage point higher than average consumer inflation in the 15-nation eurozone. At 3.6 percent in September, eurozone inflation eased from August's 3.8 percent annual pace and a peak of 4.0 percent in July. Earlier this year the government revised its average inflation forecast for this year to 3.5 from 2.8 percent, to reflect stronger-than-expected price pressures. The National Statistics Service will release September headline inflation data on October 8. (Reuters) Turkish lottery Global financial turmoil won't derail Turkey's plan to sell a license to run the national lottery this month, Metin Kilci, head of the government's asset sales agency, said yesterday. The agency will launch the sale of Ankara-based Milli Piyango as planned on October 15, and will move ahead with a tender for five sugar factories in the east of the country, Kilci said in a telephone interview. The lottery sale will appeal to a particular group of bidders and isn't likely to be affected by the credit crunch, he said. (Bloomberg)

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