ECONOMY

In Brief

FDI doubles in 2004, mostly for acquisitions Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Greece more than doubled in 2004, from $661 million in 2003 to $1.35 billion, according to the UN World Investment Report, released yesterday. Greek FDI outflows came to $607 million. The most important FDI investments in Greece were Vodafone’s full absorption of its subsidiary Panafon, Societe Generale’s acquisition of a controlling stake in Geniki Bank, US-based First Data’s buyout of Delta Singular Outsourcing Services, Paneuropean Oil’s increased stake in Hellenic Petroleum, and Dixon’s buyout of electrical good retailer Kotsovolos. Also, a total of 56 foreign «greenfield» (from scratch) investments were implemented. The cumulative total of FDI in Greece came to $27.2 billion, amounting to 13.2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Reversely, Greek FDI abroad came to a cumulative total of $13 million, representing 6.4 percent of the country’s GDP. Intracom goes for majority control of Forthnet Telecoms equipment maker Intracom will make a tender offer of 8 euros per share for a 27.09 percent stake in Internet service provider Forthnet, it said in a stock-market filing yesterday. Intracom’s cash offer for about 4.6 million common voting shares of Forthnet, part of its expansion into the telecoms market, will need approval by the securities regulator. Intracom said it is being advised by EFG Telesis Finance on the tender offer. It already owns 22.55 percent of Forthnet. Forthnet shares closed 1.66 percent lower at 7.10 euros yesterday, while Intracom shares lost 2.77 percent to settle at 5.62 euros. (Reuters) Heracles Greek cement maker Heracles, majority-owned by France’s Lafarge, reported yesterday a 30.9 percent drop in its first-half pretax profit to 28.4 million euros. «Favorable weather and demand conditions during the second quarter of 2005 mitigated the negative impact of the completion of the Olympic projects,» the company said in a statement. Group sales in the first half fell 3.7 percent to 286 million. Export turnover increased 42 percent during the first six months of the year, the company said, boosted by a higher export volume and a better market price. The company said profits were affected by the decline in sales in the local market as well as the increase in energy costs. The shares closed 1.32 percent lower at 8.98 euros. (Reuters) Tsakos NYSE-listed Tsakos Energy Navigation yesterday announced a first cash dividend relating to the fiscal year 2005 of $1 per common share, payable October 26, 2005, to stockholders of record on October 20, 2005. The ex-dividend date will be October 18, 2005. «We remain focused on growing our fleet and optimizing utilization to sustain a steady stream of revenue and a healthy return to our shareholders,» D. John Stavropoulos, chairman of the board said. Yapi Kredi Turkish private lender Yapi Kredi Bankasi said yesterday it had written off $303.83 million of the debt owed to it by its former parent group Cukurova Holding. It also said Cukurova had paid $930.1 million principal and $80.66 million in interest on debt to Yapi Kredi when the bank was transferred to its new owner Kocbank. (Reuters)