ECONOMY

In Brief

OTE approves Romtelecom majority stake deal The board of OTE Telecom yesterday approved the terms of a $243 million deal worked out with Romania allowing it to raise its stake in phone operator Romtelecom to a majority stake, it said in a statement. Romania and OTE agreed late last year on a $243 million capital boost at Romtelecom, consisting of a combination of cash worth $145 million and a conversion of debt into equity. OTE also agreed to buy an additional 3.12 percent stake for an extra $30.9 million, raising its stake in Romtelecom from 35 percent to 54 percent. (Reuters) Greek Internet address registration made easier The National Telecommunications and Posts Commission (EETT) has prepared a new regulation for the management and allocation of Greek Internet addresses (.gr), providing for more flexible registration procedures. The new system will allow many persons or organizations to act as registrars – processing applications for «.gr» addresses. To date, only the Technology Institute of Crete had the right of registering «www.name.gr»-type addresses. The new regulation also abolishes the restriction of one address per person. The agency that will act as general manager of the system will be selected through a tender. Telenor OSLO -Telenor ASA, Norway’s biggest telecoms group, said yesterday it had lost a Greek lawsuit to Cyprus’s WR Com Enterprises in a dispute over a sale of shares in Greek mobile operator CosmOTE, but would appeal. It said that the Athens city court ruled that Telenor owed WR Com about $64.29 million plus interest. WR Com is controlled by lawyer Vassilis Sarantitis. Telenor said that the case followed a share transaction in CosmOTE involving WR Com and Telenor units. «The claim arose through a disagreement in relation to the price of the shares,» Telenor said. The company said it would make provisions in its fourth-quarter accounts to reflect the judgment. (Reuters) Expro 2003 Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos this morning will open the 10th International Exhibition of Hotel and Professional Equipment, Expro 2003, at the EKEP center, at the 12th-kilometer marker on the Athens to Lamia national road. The event, which hosts more than 300 exhibitors from Greece and 28 other countries, will last until January 27. General Bank General Bank will again begin looking for a partner in the first half of the year, but this time at home, sources said. A search abroad last year proved fruitless. The bank is said to even be considering ceding the management if the prospective partner shows interest in a large stake and boosts the capital base. General, which has a 100-branch network, expects to post losses for 2002 due to high provisions. OLP The Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) realized a 36 percent pretax profit growth to 24.2 million euros in 2002, on turnover of 98.3 million, up 16.7 percent. Container traffic grew 21.56 percent to 1.4 million TEU. Toyota Inchcape group, which controls Toyota Hellas, has sold its share in Unit Bank to EFG Eurobank.