ECONOMY

In Brief

Koulouris threatens new ceilings, is snubbed by EBEA Deputy Development Minister Kimon Koulouris continued his anti-profiteering crusade yesterday by threatening to impose ceiling prices on heating diesel oil. «If necessary, we shall do it to protect the Greek consumer… the government will not let the profiteers rest,» he said in response to allegations of wide divergences in prices in nearby areas. Separately, the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) yesterday snubbed Koulouris’s announcement Wednesday that he would impose price ceilings on goods sold in monopolistic canteens and cafeterias. «Rising prices cannot be faced with police measures, which have proved ineffective in the past. The problem is deeper and has to do with how all of us can become more competitive,» said EBEA Chairman Drakoulis Fountoukakos. He said domestic firms are facing a decline in turnover and urged measures against unlicensed street trading. Eurobank reports 9-month profit surge, led by mortgages and consumer credit EFG Eurobank Ergasias, Greece’s third largest by market share, said nine-month group pretax profits after minorities grew 26 percent to 271 million euros year-on-year, reflecting an expansion into the fastest growing and most profitable market segments after an upgrade and integration of networks and an operational reorganization. Continuing growth in core revenue and containment of operating costs in the third quarter led to a 57 percent rise in net income after tax and minorities to 65 million euros. Total assets were up 9 percent to 25.4 billion euros in the nine months. Lending rose 22.7 percent to 15.3 billion; mortgages and consumer loans advanced 32 percent to 6.2 billion euros, now accounting for 40 percent of all loans from 36 percent a year earlier. Non-performing loans represented 2.9 percent of the total. Deposits outside repos were 13 percent higher at 14.5 billion. All funds under management rose 3 percent to 23.8 billion euros. No toxic fear The Development Ministry’s food control agency (EFET) said after testing more than 80 Greek samples of dairy products that concentrations of toxic substances in them were found to be among Europe’s lowest. EFET said the same applies to most Greek foods, particularly fish and poultry meat. Aspis bond Aspis Bank started marketing Greece’s first ever residential mortgage-backed securitization yesterday, lead managers ABN Amro and National Bank of Greece said in a statement. The 250-million-euro deal, the first private sector securitization since the passing of the Greek securitization law in June this year, is expected to close by the end of November. (Reuters) Army contract Telecoms equipment maker Intracom said it has signed a contract to supply 103 encrypted data, voice and fax communication sets to the Army General Staff. The sets, Secline a-Plus, are new models of earlier versions already used by the army. Oil pipeline Greece and Bulgaria said after talks in Athens they will urgently promote construction of the proposed oil pipeline linking the Black Sea port of Bourgas with Alexandroupolis on the northern Aegean coast.