ECONOMY

In Brief

OTE granted appeal against injunction for rate cuts An Athens appeals court yesterday suspended an injunction against OTE Telecom’s launching on May 12 of cut-rate service packages to private and corporate clients, following an application by the utility and until the case is considered. The injunction was brought earlier this week by the regulatory watchdog National Telecommunications and Posts Commission (EETT), which said that OTE’s discounted rates for Sunday and international calls violated competition rules; it called on OTE to submit more relevant data. In its appeal, OTE argued that the reduced rates had been advertised for two months, had been well-received by consumers and that their abrupt suspension would cause it irreparable damage. Separately, OTE’s Internet provider OTEnet said Wednesday’s earthquake in Algeria had caused damage and cut off its international connections. Until lines are restored, for access to http sites abroad OTEnet subscribers should enter as proxy server on their browser settings, address: proxy.otenet.gr, port: 8080. Unfavorable view of banks’ controlling interest in bourse The Athens bourse Listed Firms Association (SEISET), which has more than 200 members, said the government’s proposed sale of its 34 percent interest in the bourse’s parent company, Hellenic Exchanges (HELEX), to a consortium of the country’s biggest banks is against the interests of the public and investors, and the efficiency of the market. The plan will end up with banks controlling a majority interest in HELEX. SEISET said in a statement that the plan, for which Parliament is debating a draft bill, holds the dangers of hostile takeover bids by foreign bourses – given that HELEX is a listed firm itself – and that banks will come to exercise absolute control over funding in the economy; also, that they will be able to turn down firms applying to be listed or for a share capital increase, or lead them to borrow. Q1 results OTE mobile subsidiary CosmOTE said group net profit grew 9.6 percent to 53.7 million euros in the first quarter year-on-year, on a 12.8 percent rise in turnover to 297.1 million. Operating results (EBITDA) were 11.4 percent higher at 127 million euros. Respectively, Piraeus Bank reported net profit growth of 3.8 percent to 22 million euros. The bank said the improvement was mainly due to a faster rise in net revenue than expenses. Shipping Greek-registered vessels were placed on the «white list» of the Paris MOU Committee which monitors world shipping, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. Greece was on the black list until 1996 and on the gray list until 2000. Marketing The Hellenic Management Association’s Institute of Marketing (HIM) is organizing the 1st Marketing Forum of SE Europe in Thessaloniki between May 29 and 31. The event, in which representatives of 11 countries will participate, will include seven workshops. FYROM A consortium of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCHBC) and Athenian Breweries has completed a 55-million-euro investment in a beer and refreshments plant in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), through their local subsidiary Pivara Skopje.