ECONOMY

In Brief

Ireland to decide on Bulgarian, Romanian workers in the fall DUBLIN – Ireland will decide in the autumn whether to give Romanians and Bulgarians full access to its labor market when they join the European Union next year, the prime minister’s office said yesterday. Ireland, Britain and Sweden were the only members of the European Union that allowed citizens from the 10 new member states who joined in May 2004 to work in their countries without the need for a work permit. Finland, Spain, Portugal and Greece opened their labor markets to the 10 new member states from May 1, 2006. «A decision will be taken by the government in the autumn on the granting of labor market access to nationals of Bulgaria and Romania,» Prime Minister Bertie Ahern’s office said in a statement. «The decision will be based on a number of factors, including the state of the Irish labor market and the position being taken by the other member states.» It noted that, as yet, only Finland has announced it would allow full access to its labor market to Bulgarian and Romanian nationals from their date of accession. (Reuters) German firm to invest 300 mln in DIY retailing in Bulgaria SOFIA – German building materials retailer OBI is planning to invest some 300 million euros ($380.5 million) in do-it-yourself outlets in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Construction Ministry said yesterday. The ministry said the German firm was planning to open four hypermarkets in four towns and 40 stores throughout the Balkan state which hopes to join the EU next year. «Such an investment will enliven Bulgaria’s construction market… OBI can start operating already this year,» Construction Minister Asen Gagauzov said in a statement. The retailer operates a total of over 500 shops in Germany and Austria, and has opened units in a number of other European and Asian countries. (Reuters) Turk Coke An IPO for the Turkish unit of Coca-Cola has been priced at 7.25 lira ($5.48) a share, near the top of an initial range, and the deal was more than 10 times oversubscribed, sources close to the deal said yesterday. The price values the deal, for about 20 percent of the firm, at up to $320 million, including an over-allotment option. The initial range was 6-7.5 lira. It was announced on the same day as lender Bank Asya said its smaller $160 million IPO had been priced at the top of its initial range, and the deal had been almost 50 times oversubscribed. It is the third attempt by Coca-Cola’s Turkish unit to list on the stock market after the last deal was pulled at the end of 2004. (Reuters) Aries Maritime Aries Maritime Transport Ltd yesterday announced a lower quarterly dividend of 14 cents ($) a share due to additional costs related to two tankers. The company paid shareholders 35 cents a share in the previous quarter, ended December 31, 2005. The Bermuda-based shipping subsidiary of Aries Energy Corp, said the latest dividend would be paid on May 31 to shareholders of record as of May 19. (Reuters) Volleyball venue interest Five Greek and foreign groups showed interest in long-term operation of the beach volleyball arena at the Faliron Olympic complex, the Olympic Properties company announced yesterday. The five consortiums are led by Village Roadshow, Everest, GEK and French firms Altarea and SEPI.