ECONOMY

In Brief

EETT’s new wholesale tariffs likely to benefit OTE OTE Telecom is set to gain from new wholesale rates set by the country’s telecoms watchdog EETT which the operator charges to other carriers, analysts said yesterday. EETT issued new interconnection and leased-line rates charged by OTE, 37.7-percent state-owned, to its rivals as part of a move to bring prices down to European Union averages. The interconnection prices will be backdated to January 1. The leased-line tariffs will come into effect once EETT’s decision comes out in the government gazette, probably in the next few weeks. The prices will be temporary as OTE did not provide cost-oriented data for its leased-line charges, EETT said in a statement. «The interconnection rates are lower than current prices while the leased-line rates are higher than rates charged by OTE now,» an EETT source told Reuters. (Reuters) Higher provisions hit Emporiki’s 9-month profit Emporiki Bank, Greece’s fourth-largest bank by assets, yesterday reported a 40.9 percent drop in nine-month group pretax profit after minorities to 49.5 million euros ($63.7 million), hit by higher provisions. Emporiki said that net interest income rose 8.4 percent to 483.9 million euros. Financial results were reported under Greek accounting standards. The bank said it jacked up provisions by 49 percent to 97.8 million euros while operating costs increased 8.8 percent to 494.1 million euros. Management started a restructuring plan in the spring aimed at cutting costs and also raised provisions for bad loans. «We see the same trend in the nine-month period as in the previous quarters, which is linked to the bank’s general restructuring efforts with the focus on its retail lending operations,» said analyst Thanos Ipirotis at Alpha Finance. «This explains the higher provisions set by the bank. There is also a higher contribution to pension funds ahead of the adoption of International Accounting Standards.» (Reuters) Piraeus Bank Banking Technology, the prestigious English magazine, has given Piraeus Bank’s Winbank electronic banking facility the 2nd distinction («Highly recommended») in the Best On-line and Multichannel Banking Team category. Top honors went to Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance, with Deutsche Bank Global Markets e-Commerce also receiving the «highly recommended» distinction. This prize adds to the great number of distinctions Winbank has already won. The magazine awarded Winbank the same distinction in 2001. This time the award was won thanks to Winbank’s «Alert!» service, which updates clients about transactions or developments they select, via SMS, e-mail or phone call. Kotsovolos delisting UK electrical goods retailer Dixons has raised its stake in Greek electrical firm Kotsovolos to close to 80 percent and aims to delist the Greek firm, Kotsovolos said in a stock market filing yesterday. Dixons, which owned around 68 percent of Kotsovolos in mid-September, last month launched a mandatory public offer for the rest of the Greek retailer it did not own. The tender ended on Thursday, with Dixons boosting its stake to 77.881 percent. (Reuters)