In Brief

First load of oil through Ceyhan due by week’s end BAKU (Reuters) – Azeri oil exports via the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan will amount to at least two cargoes in June and would rise to 300,000-400,000 barrels per day in a few months, a BP executive said yesterday. «I think that in two months we will export 300,000-400,000 bpd through the BTC pipeline,» the head of the BP-led Baku-Ceyhan pipeline group Michael Townshend told Reuters. Azeri Energy and Industries Minister Natik Aliyev told reporters last week the first cargo with Azeri crude was bought out of Ceyhan by US ExxonMobil and the 2.2-million-barrel tanker was to load on May 27-28. But Townshend said the loading will be before the end of this week and added that the cargo size was actually much smaller – at 700,000 barrels. Emporiki Bank Q1 net profit surges Emporiki Bank said yesterday first-quarter net profit rose 112.5 percent to 52.1 million euros ($67 million) on strong retail lending. Greece’s fourth-largest lender by assets, 11 percent-owned by France’s Credit Agricole, said net interest income rose 14.7 percent to 175.3 million euros. Its net interest margin improved to 3.47 percent from 3.27 in the same period a year earlier. «The performance in the first quarter reflects the results of our consistent efforts to restructure and develop the group,» CEO George Provopoulos said in a statement. «The forthcoming privatization should reinforce this positive outlook, terminating any uncertainty as to the group’s future.» (Reuters) Moysis resignation The board of the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) officially accepted the resignation of Raphail Moysis from the firm’s presidency yesterday, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas announced. The minister associated the resignation with Moysis’s appointment to the presidency of the National Energy Strategy Council (SEES). «Moysis has a long service at the energy sector; he and I agreed that his new post means he should have no special relationship with any energy body or firm.» Sioufas stated. Avra’s new house Coca-Cola HBC will modernize its production installations in Aigion, northwestern Peloponnese, where its mineral water Avra is bottled. To this end the company will invest about 1 million euros this year, placing particular emphasis on the bottled water market that has an annual growth rate of 6 to 8 percent in Greece; consumption per head in Greece reaches 100 liters every year, against 250 liters in Italy. Retail sales Greece’s retail sales volume rose 5.9 percent year-on-year in March, unchanged from a 5.9 percent pace in February, data by the country’s statistics service (NSS) showed yesterday. Retail sales by revenues rose 7.7 percent year-on-year in March compared with a 7.3 percent rise in February. (Reuters)