ECONOMY

In Brief

Gazprom, Aktor sign oil pipeline deal Aktor construction firm said yesterday it has signed a cooperation agreement with Russia’s Gazprom for the construction of a pipeline that will carry Russian oil from Bulgaria to Greece. In a statement late Monday, Aktor – the construction unit of Hellenic Technodomiki TEV – said the entire pipeline project was budgeted at over 1 billion euros. Members of the consortium have not yet been officially announced, but in March representatives from TNK-BP Holding, Rosneft and Gazprom’s Sibneft met with Greek officials in Athens to discuss the pipeline project. The almost 300-kilometer-long (186-mile-long) pipeline will transport Russian oil from Bourgas, on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, to the port of Alexandroupolis, on the Aegean coast. (AP) OPAP to run Stoichima soccer betting from February Gaming operator OPAP will undertake the running of its Stoichima game from February 2007, Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said yesterday. Stoichima is operated by gaming systems developer and operator Intralot. The contract is set to end in January. Alogoskoufis said OPAP was expected to seek private sector help only for IT infrastructure issues. Also, ministers have finalized decisions that will enable the entry of Greek soccer teams into Stoichima in time for the next soccer season. Currently, gamers can only place bets on foreign soccer matches. (AP) Broadband target OTEnet is aiming at increasing the penetration of broadband Internet connections in Greece, Panagis Vourloumis, OTE group president, stated yesterday. «If by the end of 2008 the penetration of ADSL connections through the OTE network has not reached 10 percent of all Internet connections, then we will have failed,» said Vourloumis. Data presented yesterday showed that at end-2005 computer penetration in Greek households had reached 27.3 percent (about 1 million), with only 19.5 percent having Internet connection. Vourloumis said ADSL connections now stand at 7 percent. Germanos in Poland Germanos is strengthening its presence in Poland, as its subsidiary GTI Sp. acquired 40 new stores, 34 from Auto Elektronik and six from A-Tel, taking Germanos-controlled stores in Poland to over 380. Operations in Poland will remain under founder Panos Germanos’s control. The rest of the company is being acquired by mobile operator Cosmote. Novartis The Gerolymatos group of companies secured the exclusive distribution of the clinical enteric nutrition products of pharmaceuticals giant Novartis in Greece and Cyprus. The Novartis Hellas staff will join the OTC branch of Gerolymatos, a group active in the health and beauty sector with a turnover of 153 million euros in 2005. Cyprus growth Cyprus’s economy grew 3.3 percent in real terms year-on-year in the first quarter.