ECONOMY

In Brief

Slopes of Mount Olympus provide stage for milk war Greece’s largest dairy group, Delta, yesterday filed for an injunction against the use of the trademark «Olympus» for fresh milk produced by the Larissa Dairy Industry, which has taken top market shares in recent months for its light and regular varieties. Delta, which recently launched a rival «Authentic Olympus» brand, argues that the use of the «Olympus» trademark can be deceptive as just a small amount of milk can actually originate from the particular area. Larissa Dairy responded with a counter-injunction, arguing that Delta’s rival product is marketed in identical packaging as its own, causing confusion and misleading consumers. Separately, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said yesterday it had lowered its long-term corporate credit rating on dairy company Fage, Greece’s second largest, to «B+» from «BB-». «The downgrade reflects Fage’s negative trading in the first half of 2005 and our expectation that difficult market conditions in the Greek dairy market will continue to challenge a recovery in Fage’s earnings in the near term,» said Standard & Poor’s. Novator buys into Forthnet, upsetting Intracom’s plans Icelandic venture capital firm Novator has acquired about 16 percent of Forthnet from two of its shareholders, the Greek Internet service and telecoms provider said yesterday. Novator bought 9.87 percent, or about 1.66 million, Forthnet shares from Cyprus Development Bank and another 6.27 percent or around 1 million shares from Telecom Italia on Wednesday, Forthnet said in a stock market filing. Analysts said the latest development could derail plans by Greek telecoms equipment-maker Intracom to boost its 20.5 percent stake in Forthnet as part of its diversification into the telephony services market. (Reuters) Quest for Q Shares of IT and telecoms group Infoquest yesterday skyrocketed 17.97 percent higher to 3.84 euros after the company said it was in talks with UK venture capital firm BC Partners on the sale of a stake in its unit Q-Telecom. Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported BC Partners participates in a consortium which plans to bid about 9.8 billion euros for Denmark’s main operator, TDS. EFG Group EFG Eurobank, Greece’s third-largest lender, signed an agreement to acquire a 25 percent stake in EFG Private Bank (Luxembourg), giving it full control of the bank, it said yesterday. The seller was EFG Bank European Financial Group, Eurobank said in a stock market filing. The agreement is subject to regulatory approval. Geneva-based EFG Bank European Financial Group owns Eurobank. The EFG Group is controlled by the Latsis family. (Reuters)