ECONOMY

In Brief

China seeks know-how in farm production Deputy Agriculture Minister Alexandros Kontos and a delegation of Chinese deputies who met in Athens yesterday agreed to promote further talks on developing trade cooperation in farm products, particularly olive oil. «There is a very strong interest from China in the production and importation of both olive oil and mastic gum. They informed us that as long as we provide assistance with our know-how, they are prepared to import large quantities of Greek olive oil, given its high quality,» said Kontos. He expressed concern that a number of Chinese farm imports, like tomato paste, are imported at very low prices to the EU, hurting local production. Greek farm exports represent just 10 percent of Chinese farm imports. Debt agency: 50-year bond not on the cards LONDON (Reuters) – Greece is not planning to issue a 50-year bond, the country’s debt agency chief told Reuters yesterday, clarifying previous comments the country might look at the possibility of issuing an ultra-long bond next year. «Greece does not intend to issue a 50-year bond. Greece is not contemplating issuing a 50-year bond,» Spyros Papanicolaou, head of the country’s Public Debt Management, Agency said. He earlier told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference that Greece is likely to sell more 30-year bonds by the end of the year, but was unlikely to tap the inflation-linked bond this year. Attica Holdings Ferry operator Attica Holdings posted a 3.8-million-euro net loss in the first quarter yesterday, compared with year-earlier figures that were boosted by a one-off gain. Attica, reporting under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), said in a statement that sales fell 10.8 percent to 63.1 million euros. It had recorded a 5-million-euro gain in the first quarter of 2004 after selling two ferry boats. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) declined 17.5 percent to 8.5 million euros. (Reuters) Dublin and Helsinki direct Hungarian carrier Malev will start direct flights from Athens to Dublin and Helsinki on July 3, Athens International Airport (AIA) said yesterday. AIA said the two destinations are currently served only by connecting flights. Round-trip ticket prices for the two destinations will start from 99 euros and 129 euros respectively. (Reuters) Forthnet Telecoms and Internet service provider Forthnet returned to profit in the first quarter, it said yesterday. Reporting under IFRS, Forthnet said it had a pretax profit of 145,881 euros compared with a 76,012-euro loss in the year-ago period. It did not provide details. (Reuters) Bobov Dol tender canceled Bulgaria’s privatization agency said yesterday it had canceled a tender to sell 100 percent in its Bobov Dol thermal power plant, for which Greece’s Public Power Corporation had offered the highest bid. «The privatization agency has canceled the procedure due to unsatisfactory offers,» privatization agency head Atanas Bangachev told reporters. (Reuters)