ECONOMY

In Brief

OTE fined, rejects charges of abuse of dominant position The National Telecommunications and Posts Commission (EEET) said yesterday it had imposed a 150,000-euro fine on state-run OTE Telecom for its initial failure to provide network linkage facilities to fledgling private telecom companies, it said in a press release yesterday. This failure resulted in a de facto maintenance of OTE’s monopoly position in violation of Greek and community legislation, EEET said. It also indicated that the fine would have been larger had OTE not ultimately complied and signed agreements with all private companies, some of which are expected to launch operations later this month. Responding later, OTE said in a statement that the companies that filed the relevant complaint in April had not yet been licensed by EEET (this happened in May) and besides, EEET also had to determine which of the licensed telecom companies were entitled to linkage. Although the latter condition materialized only in September, OTE in August signed agreements conditional to EEET’s final decisions, the statement said. OTE said it had instructed its legal department to look into the matter. Improved exports shrink deficit in eight months Greece’s current account deficit in the first eight months of this year shrank by 225 million euros compared with the same period of 2000 to 4.383 billion euros, the Bank of Greece said yesterday. It attributed the fall to a drop in the country’s non-oil trade deficit, thanks to a considerable increase in export receipts, which more than offset the growth of the import bill. By contrast, net oil imports rose by 260 million euros. For the month of August, the current account balance recorded a 25-million-euro deficit against a 64-million-euro surplus in the same month of 2000. The central bank said Greece’s foreign exchange reserves, based on the European Central Bank’s definition, stood at 7.8 billion euros at end-August. (Reuters) Listing of shipping companies. The Athens Stock Exchange yesterday categorically denied press reports of problems in the planned listing of merchant shipping companies, describing them as completely false and baseless. It said in a press release that following consultations with all interested parties, amendments to Law 2843 of 2000 had been completed and will be tabled in Parliament shortly. Yachting industry’s straits. Yacht operators, particularly those of manned vessels, expect to face bankruptcy or be forced to change flag if measures are not adopted to ameliorate the repercussions on tourism of the September 11 terrorist attacks and if disincentives in existing legislation are not lifted, industry representatives told tourism and Merchant Marine Ministry officials yesterday. They called for subsidies, a 50-percent reduction in mooring charges by 2003 and advertising grants. IBM revenues up. IBM Hellas revenues are up 50 percent this year, while the Greek IT market will grow by 9-10 percent, CEO Yiannis Terzakis said yesterday. The company receives 50 percent of its revenue from applications in the banking sector. -In Caribs Exxon has fixed M/T Genmar Star for 70,000 tons of cargo loading NOv. 17 discharging US Gulf at W/S 147.5.