ECONOMY

In Brief

Declared incomes increased by 4.3 percent year-on-year in 2004 Taxpayers declared collective income of 75 billion euros last year (in respect to 2004 incomes), which is 4.3 percent higher than the previous year. The tax they paid was 13.5 percent higher, while their number rose by 5 percent, to just over 5.5 million. Salaried workers declared an average income of 15,700 euros compared with 14,660 the year before and paid an average tax of 1,318 euros. Pensioners had average revenues of 12,200 euros, up from 11,369 euros the previous year. The over 330,000 freelancers paid the tax service 1.1 billion euros in total. Their mean tax rose by 29 percent, as did tax paid by farmers and fishermen. Gov’t makes first placement in ATEbank privatization The government’s placement of a 7 to 7.5 percent stake of ATEbank with foreign funds, as part of this year’s privatization agenda, took place at 5.05 euros a share, a source close to the deal said yesterday. «The final price for the placement is expected at 5.05 euros a share,» the source told Reuters. «About 7 to 7.5 percent of the bank will be placed, about 65 million shares. The books are closed.» (Reuters) Bank of Cyprus The Bank of Cyprus said yesterday its first-quarter net profit in 2006 rose over 130 percent to 37 million Cyprus pounds (65 million euros) from 16 million Cyprus pounds (28 million euros) in the first quarter of 2005. Net interest income rose by 19 percent, reaching 78 million Cyprus pounds (136 million euros). Based on first-quarter performance, indications for its further development and current conditions in the markets where it operates, the bank said it expects full-year net profit to exceed the target of 120 million Cyprus pounds (207 million euros). The Bank of Cyprus – the island’s biggest – has branches in Greece, Britain and Australia and recently got approval to enter the Russian market. Intracom in Syria Intracom Telecom, a unit of telecoms equipment maker Intracom, said yesterday it has agreed to a 40.6-million-euro deal to supply radio equipment to a Syrian telecoms service provider, boosting its presence in the region. «Intracom Telecom has signed a contract of 40.6 million euros with the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment for the supply and installation of point-to-multipoint wireless access systems,» the company stated. (Reuters) Top Tankers Nasdaq-listed TOP Tankers Inc yesterday reported first-quarter net income of $30.4 million, or $1.06 per share, compared with net income of $19.1 or $0.69 per share, for the first quarter of 2005. «We have entered into the seasonal lower period for the tanker market and are experiencing a correction in the crude spot rates. We expect to enjoy the benefit of our full fleet’s availability during the next winter period, traditionally the strongest of the year,» said Evangelos J. Pistiolis, the firm’s CEO.