ECONOMY

In Brief

Gov’t says relations with Credit Agricole good despite exit clause Relations between the government and Credit Agricole are very good and they are in constant consultation regarding the French bank’s participation in the further privatization of Emporiki Bank, Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said yesterday. Recent reports suggested that the French were reconsidering their option to increase their 11 percent stake in Greece’s fourth-largest lender after Alogoskoufis revealed that the initial entry agreement contained a secret clause whereby if they decided to withdraw from Emporiki the government would make up any difference in the price from the one they bought. Yesterday Alogoskoufis said that according to Greek law any such agreement was null. PPC awards 86-million-euro plant project on Crete HAMILTON, Bermuda – Foster Wheeler’s Global Power Group announced yesterday that a consortium led by its Finnish subsidiary, Foster Wheeler Energia Oy, has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract by Greece’s Public Power Corporation (PPC), for a 100 MWe heavy oil-fired power plant scheduled for completion in early 2008. It will be designed and built by Foster Wheeler and its Greek construction partner, Athena, near the city of Siteia, on Crete. The total value of the award for the consortium is approximately 86 million euros. Intralot Greek gaming systems developer and operator Intralot said yesterday it has purchased a further 20 percent stake in Turkish betting operator Interlek for 67 million euros. Intralot already holds a 25 percent stake in Interlek, which has an exclusive contract to manage sports betting in Turkey for eight years. Intralot’s operations range from Southeastern Europe and the Balkans to the United States and South America. Forthnet Internet service and telecoms provider Forthnet posted a loss of 308,244 euros in the first nine months of the year compared with a profit of 279,789 euros a year earlier. Pretax profit rose 135 percent to 445,245 euros on a rise in sales of 14.2 percent to 68 million euros. Forthnet has guided for pretax profit of 1 to 1.5 million euros in 2005. (Reuters) Folli-Follie Jewellery retailer Folli-Follie reported a nine-month net profit of 42 million euros, down from 43.9 million euros in same period last year. Sales in its key market Japan and the rest of Asia accounted for 19 percent and 48 percent of total sales, respectively. Bucharest bourse Romania’s blue chips scrambled to a fresh record high yesterday, buoyed by strong gains from Romania’s top oil company Petrom, brokers said. Petrom gained 4.81 percent to close at 0.479 lei. The market’s BET-C composite index also shared in the good run, ending 0.54 percent higher to end at 4,048.77 points, edging closer to its all-time high of 4,108.74 points in February. (SeeNews)