ECONOMY

In Brief

Gov’t sees developing HELPE strategy for access to oil with Libya Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE) needs a strategy based on access to hydrocarbon deposits in order to maintain its position on the international market, Deputy Development Minister Giorgos Salagoudis said in Thessaloniki yesterday. He admitted that certain partnerships for exploration in the past had been «unfortunate,» but said «a good cooperation is now developing with Libya.» «The group is targeting having 5-10 percent of its total capacity refine crude oil from Libya,» he said. Furthermore, he said the legal framework for the deregulation of the natural gas market is being completed this week and will be presented at the end of the month. Salagoudis predicted that HELPE’s independent 390-megawatt power plant, to be built outside Thessaloniki, will be ready six months earlier than scheduled in July 2005. Cyprus economy grows 4.1 pct in real terms in Q2 NICOSIA (Reuters) – The Cypriot economy grew 4.1 percent year-on-year in the second quarter in real terms, the government statistics department said yesterday. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP expanded by 1.0 percent, it said. The statistics department also reviewed its estimates for gross domestic product expansion in the first quarter to 3.6 percent from an earlier estimate of 3.4 percent. «The GDP growth in real terms during the second quarter is due to the positive performances in construction, wholesale and retail trade, the real estate, tourism, financial services and manufacturing,» the statistics department said in a statement. On an annual Q2 basis, motor vehicle sales rose 30.9 percent, followed by a 19.3 growth in financial services, a 12.2 percent climb for construction and an 8.2 percent growth in tourism arrivals. IMF in Turkey The International Monetary Fund said yesterday a team would visit Turkey from September 16 to 29 for talks on a new standby agreement. Turkey’s present $19 billion loan accord with the IMF expires next February. «The government’s medium-term debt-reduction strategy and the implications for the 2005 budget are among the important issues to be discussed,» IMF representative in Turkey Hugh Bredenkamp said in a statement. The discussions are expected to resume in October, following the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, it said. The Turkish authorities are preparing an economic program for 2005-2007, and the IMF mission will discuss with them the objectives and policy content of this program, the statement said. «These discussions are expected to encompass reforms that will underpin the fiscal strategy, such as social security reform, a streamlining of the tax regime, and reform of the tax administration and public financial management,» the IMF said. (Reuters) Kotsovolos delisting UK electrical goods retailer Dixons said yesterday it will launch a mandatory public tender for all remaining shares in Greek electrical retailer Kotsovolos, in accordance with Greek regulations. Dixons now holds 68.26 percent of Kotsovolos and is seeking to buy the remaining 31.74 percent, Dixons said in a Greek stock market filing. The offer, at 6.50 euros per share, will take place after authorization by the appropriate authorities, Dixons added. (Reuters)