ECONOMY

In Brief

Lambrakis Press ups stake in Mega Channel Publishing group Lambrakis Press said yesterday it almost doubled its stake in Teletypos, which controls Greece’s private TV channel Mega, to 19.6 percent. Other major shareholders of Teletypos include publishing group Pegasus, which holds 21.03 percent. At the end of December, Fidelity investments also held a 9.19 percent stake. Shares in Teletypos jumped 19.66 percent to 5.60 euros after Lambrakis agreed to pay 6.0 euros per share, a 28.2 percent premium over Tuesday’s closing price. «The holdings of the Lambrakis group in the shares and voting rights of Teletypos, following the acquisition, rose to 19.615 percent from 10.762 percent before the purchase,» the company said in a statement, without providing further details. (Reuters) Intracom abandons FORTHnet; Lannet goes for Telepassport Telecoms equipment-maker Intracom sold yesterday its 24.88 percent stake in alternative telecoms firm FORTHnet, sealing the former’s failure to control the latter. Iceland’s investment fund Novator and a fund managed by Cycladic Capital Management of shipowner Dimitris Goulandris shared the stake, paying 8.35 euros per share. Separately, ASE-listed Lannet submitted the only binding offer of 35 million euros yesterday for 100 percent of shares of alternative telephony provider Telepassport. Skopje The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) said yesterday it hopes to sell by auction the unfinished office building World Business Center in the capital Skopje at a starting price of 8.7 million euros. «The public bidding will be held on February 15 with consecutive bid amounts not lower than 50,000 euros,» an official statement said. The previous four tenders failed to attract bids and one reason was that the land on which the center was build was not included, local newspaper Vecer reported. FYROM froze construction of the 22,458-square-meter building in 1993 after running out of money for the project. (SeeNews) Business conditions Operating conditions in Greece’s manufacturing sector deteriorated in January for the first time in nine months, Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data released yesterday by NTC Research showed. The index fell to 49.6 points from 51.1 in December. A measurement of 50 separates contraction from growth. Bank of Cyprus The Bank of Cyprus said yesterday it aimed to increase its return on equity (ROE) to 16 percent in 2008 from 11.3 percent at end-September 2005. The bank, which now has 110 branches in Greece, planned to open 10 more outlets this year. (Reuters)