In Brief

Austria’s OMV acquires stake in Turkey’s Petrol Ofisi PARIS (AFP) – The Austrian gas, oil and chemicals group OMV AG said yesterday it had acquired a 34 percent stake in Petrol Ofisi of Turkey from Dogan Holding for $1.054 billion (884 million euros) in order to expand its activities in the growing Turkish oil market. Dogan’s stake in Petrol Ofisi will decline to 52.7 percent from 86.7 percent as a result of the sale. Following the acquisition, OMV will have the right to appoint four of the eight directors on Petrol Ofisi’s board, with Dogan appointing the other four. Petrol Ofisi is Turkey’s market leader in refined oil products with an average market share of 35 percent in fuel products and a total sales volume of about 8.1 million tonnes last year. The company reported sales of 6.56 billion dollars in the first nine months of 2005. OMV said the transaction was subject to regulatory approval. Cellphone rates are far higher in Greece than the European average Greeks pay much more than other Europeans when they call cell phone numbers from different networks or from a landline phone, confirmed the EU commissioner for the internal market and Services, Charlie MacCreevy, following a question by MEP Costas Hatzidakis. Greek networks’ roaming charges are twice as high as the European average. The commissioner said the networks pass on to customers the high gross cost of calls between networks. He also said the Commission asked the Greek telecoms watchdog EETT in 2004 to ensure call termination charges are based on real costs. Call termination in the EU costs between 9 and 11 cents per minute, against 15-18 cents/minute in Greece. Intrarom deal Intrarom, the Romanian unit of Greek IT and telecommunications group Intracom, has contracted Romania’s top IT retailer Flamingo to supply some 10 million euros’ worth of IT equipment and services to the Romanian Justice and Interior ministries, Flamingo said yesterday. The contract for providing IT equipment and services to the two ministries is part of a project for supporting the reform of the judicial system in the EU-hopeful. (SeeNews) TOP Tankers Nasdaq-listed TOP Tankers Inc announced yesterday the sale of 13 vessels and the immediate leaseback to the company for a period of five to seven years. The lease is a bareboat charter, with TOP Tankers continuing to operate and commercially manage the vessels. The aggregate sale price of the 13 vessels is approximately $550 million, and the net cash proceeds from this transaction (after repayment of corresponding vessel loans and other expenses) are expected to be approximately $240 million. The company expects to generate a book gain of approximately $90 million, to be amortized over the respective lease period. Coca-Cola Greek bottler CCHBC Cyprus subsidiary 3E (Cyprus) has received approval from Cypriot competition authorities for the takeover of domestic Coke bottler Lanitis Bros Public Ltd, it said yesterday. CCHBC, the world’s second-largest bottler of Coca-Cola products, had offered 0.172 Cyprus pounds in cash for each Lanitis share in a deal valued at around 75 million euros. (Reuters)