In Brief

Athens Airport cuts airline refueling fee by 5 percent Athens International Airport cut the cost of refueling by 5 percent yesterday. Athens International Airport SA and Olympic Fuel Co SA said the reduction was effective immediately. This is a «joint effort to support airlines and enhance the competitiveness of aviation fuel prices at the airport,» the operators of Athens Airport and OFC said. The two companies had already reduced the cost to refuel at Athens Airport by 23 percent at the beginning of 2005. The overall reduction in the fee this year so far is expected to save airlines refueling at the airport 3.06 million euros, the two companies said. The state has a 55 percent stake in airport and is looking to sell part of its holding in 2007. German construction company Hochtief AG, which has management control of AIA, has a 40 percent stake. (AP) Serbian oil company sets up venture with Russia’s Lukoil MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s No.1 oil firm Lukoil said yesterday it had signed a memorandum of understanding on setting up a 50-50 joint venture with Serbian oil and gas monopoly NIS. Under the agreement, NIS would refine 1.5-4.5 million tons of Lukoil’s crude per year (30,000-90,000 barrels per day). Lukoil will also examine the possibility of including NIS in joint exploration and production projects in Russia or in other countries. In addition, Lukoil will help NIS raise a $500 million credit to finance its refinery upgrade program. Cypriot tourism Earnings from tourism in Cyprus fell 0.6 percent in the first five months of the year, the country’s statistics department said yesterday. Revenue from the sector, which represents an estimated 15 percent of Cyprus’s gross national product, stood at 259.1 million pounds (460 million euros) from January to May, compared to 260.8 million in the corresponding period of 2004. In May alone, tourism earnings rose 5.9 percent year on year to 105.4 million pounds, the statistics department said. (Reuters) Turk Telecom Turkish officials will hold talks with Saudi-based Oger Telecom and a venture led by Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) on buying a 55 percent stake in state landline company Turk Telekom, the Privatization Administration’s chairman Metin Kilci said yesterday. Oger submitted the highest bid, with Etisalat submitting the second highest, in the privatization tender. The other two bidders, a consortium involving Koç Holding and the Carlyle Group and a group headed by a subsidiary of local GSM firm Turkcell, were eliminated from the tender. (Reuters) Bulgaria’s visitors Bulgaria recorded an annual 3.09 percent rise in foreign tourists in the first five months of the year, the country’s Culture and Tourism Ministry announced. Although tourism coming from Central and Western European countries is rising, Greeks remain the biggest group traveling to Bulgaria for holidays, with 273,062 of them doing the trip in January-May 2005. Manufacturing up Expansion in the Greek manufacturing sector accelerated in June to 51.7 from 50.2 in May, its highest level in six months, a monthly survey of around 300 companies showed. (Reuters)

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