ECONOMY

In Brief

Greek-Turkish cooperation agreements in home run Turkish ambassador Ali Tuygan and the Greek Foreign Ministry’s director of the Turkish desk, Kyriakos Rodousakis, are this morning due to sign the minutes for the exchange of documents approving the two countries agreements on economic cooperation and the mutual promotion and protection of investments. The agreements will go into force on November 24, 2001, completing the activation of the nine agreements in particular sectors of cooperation signed by foreign ministers George Papandreou and Ismail Cem in Athens and Ankara last year. Deutsche Telekom buys majority share in Croatian monopoly ZAGREB – Deutsche Telekom completed a deal yesterday which gave it a majority stake in Croatia’s only telecommunications company. Deutsche Telekom purchased an additional 16-percent stake in Hrvatske Telekomunikacije for 500 million euros, giving it a 51-percent stake in the Croatian monopoly. The German telecommunications firm had already purchased a 35-percent stake in the company in 1999, in a deal worth $850 million. The agreement was signed by Prime Minister Ivica Racan and Deutsche Telekom chief executive officer, Ron Sommer. The government and organizations of veterans of Croatia’s 1991 war for independence from Yugoslavia each hold a 14-percent stake in the company. The remaining 21 percent is slated to go on sale as public stock in the coming months. (AP) ETBA bidders up their offers. Two bidders interested in buying ETBA Bank said yesterday they had sweetened their offers for the state-owned bank that the government wants to privatize. Iakovos Georganas, vice-chairman of private-sector Piraeus Bank, said the improved bid had been made but refused to disclose details. Elias Betsis, head of state-run Agricultural’s legal department, said his bank’s new bid was also improved with the bank still vying for the same 65.5-percent stake it had announced. Agricultural had previously offered 144.9 billion drachmas in cash for the 41.1-percent stake, equivalent to 5.98 euros a share, and 86.3 billion drachmas in convertible one-year bonds for the remaining 24.48 percent. Piraeus Bank had previously offered 126.8 billion drachmas for just over 50 percent of ETBA – 4.3 euros per share in cash. ETBA Bank has a current market capitalization of 305.48 billion drachmas. The improved offer will strengthen Piraeus capital base and diversify its loan portfolio, said EFG Eurobank bank analyst Dimitris Apistoulas. (Reuters) New phones from Sony Ericsson. Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications yesterday presented its new range of mobile phones, the majority of which are equipped with GPRS technology enabling rapid Internet access. CommuniCam, the first mobile phone cum camera, and Ericsson T65 which offers GPRS technology, are already available in the market. Another GPRS-enabled mobile phone, the Ericsson T68, comes with a colored screen, while the Ericsson R380e, claiming to be the smartest phone in the world, functions both as phone and personal organizer. The last two will be available next month. Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications is a joint venture between Japan’s Sony Corporation and US mobile phone company Ericsson. – In W. Africa, Sun has fixed M/T North Star for 130,000 tons of cargo, loading Nov. 13, discharging West Coast, USA at W/S 95.