ECONOMY

In Brief

Gov’t wants probe into possible SMS charges collusion Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas urgently asked the National Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT) yesterday to investigate a possible cartel practice by the three biggest mobile telephony networks in Greece (CosmOTE, Vodafone and TIM), after complaints they had almost simultaneously raised charges for texting (SMS). Vodafone officials said that the network’s 6 percent rise in SMS charges applies only to a section of contract customers and will be valid as of May 16, giving users ample notice. Tellas to cut fixed-to-mobile charges from next month Fixed-line phone company Tellas will cut prices of calls to mobile phones, effective May 1, making them about a quarter cheaper than its main rival OTE, it said yesterday. Calls to mobile phones terminating at mobile operators CosmOTE and Vodafone Greece will cost 0.174 euro per minute on weekdays, down from 0.18 euros, Tellas said in a statement. Calls to the two companies on weekends and holidays will cost 0.162 euros per minute compared with 0.167 euros previously. Tellas also cut charges for mobile phone calls ending at the other two mobile operators TIM Hellas and Q-Telecom. (Reuters) Petzetakis The main shareholders of listed pipe manufacturer Petzetakis, CEO Giorgios Petzetakis and Ioannis Vardinoyiannis, yesterday informed investors they had not liquidated any shares, after the firm’s common and preferred stocks lost 19 and 27 percent in value respectively in the last two days. The company further announced a bond loan issue of 60.5 million euros by Alpha Bank, Citibank, Eurobank and the National Bank of Greece to be signed by end-May. It also predicted a decline in first-quarter figures, but said this will be temporary as the firm is expected to post a rise this year compared to 2004. PC Systems – Q&R IT group Quality & Reliability – PC Systems has won the tender for the National Municipal Register, an Information Society project budgeted at 2.3 million euros. The register will compile a central database for the whole country, merging the existing local registers. PC Systems – Q&R will also provide consultancy services for the transition to the new model. Gatwick-Iraklio GB Airways, a British Airways franchise partner, is launching direct scheduled flights between London Gatwick and Iraklio in Crete on May 3, flying every Tuesday and Friday. John Patterson, GB Airways CEO, predicted that «this route will prove exceptionally popular both with Cretan residents and the tour operators we cooperate with.» Philatelic Visa The Postal Savings Bank is offering a new credit card, the Philatelic Visa, designed for Greek philatelists, in association with the Hellenic Post. The new card will have the lowest market interest rate, 9 percent, and each cardholder will be entitled to a stamp, as pictured on the card, in silver.