ECONOMY

In Brief

Ferry operator Minoan Lines sold a block of 94,980 shares in Internet service provider Forthnet to Cyprus Development Bank on Monday, Forthnet management said. The shares amount to 2.67 percent of Minoan’s current 23.93 percent stake in Forthnet and were sold at 5.90 euros each. The 94,980 shares account for 0.64 percent of Forthnet’s total outstanding shares. Cyprus Development Bank already has a 10.15 percent stake in the ISP. Minoan said in May it would sell non-core holdings to raise funds to finance a fleet renewal program, particularly if stock market conditions did not improve. Minoan also said at that time that if it were to dispose of its stake in Forthnet it would not liquidate it in the market, but would seek to sell the stake to a strategic investor acceptable to Forthnet management. Forthnet currently has about 40 percent of the total ISP market in terms of the number of Internet addresses. (Reuters) Athens tram plans get under way Deputy National Economy Minister Christos Pachtas yesterday announced the approval of credits for construction of a 24-kilometer tram line connecting the center of Athens with the suburbs of Palaio and Neo Faliron and Glyfada. The project has a budget of 115.52 billion drachmas and will be financed through the 2001 Public Investment Program and subsidized in half by the European Regional Development Fund. It will comprise two lines, one 13.9 km-long from Zappeion Hall to Neo Faliron suburban railway station through Palaio Faliron, and the other a 15.1 km-long line from Neo Faliron to Glyfada. The Neo to Palaio Faliron segment will be common for the two lines. Each tram vehicle will carry 190-200 passengers at a speed of 18-23 km/h. Pachtas also approved 4 billion drachmas for constructing bicycle lanes in various parts of Greece, the first ever in the country. Peloponnese best for RES projects. The Peloponnese has emerged as by far the favorite region for investment in the production of energy from renewable sources, according to the results of the first round of European Union-subsidized projects in the sector under the Development Ministry’s Competitiveness Program. The region attracted proposed projects budgeted at a total of 118.5 billion drachmas, against 55.7 billion for Central Greece, 55 billion for Central Macedonia and 51.6 billion drachmas for Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. The least favorite regions were the Ionian and Aegean islands, with total respective budgets of 4.5 billion and 10 billion drachmas. The proposed investments refer to projects of all categories and technologies such as wind, small hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass, solar, energy saving and joint production of electricity and heating. Telecoms forum. Telecoms operators need to redefine their strategy following the recent crisis in the technological industry, according to speakers at the two-day Telecoms Forum 2001 which kicked off yesterday. They said the market is now characterized by intense competition and users who demand more effective and efficient telecommunications products. – On the Continent, ESSO for 80,000 tons of cargo, loading October 28 UK, discharging UKC, has fixed M/T Valiant at W/S 155.