In Brief

Ministry insists on fine for BP and Shell The Development Ministry is sticking to its proposal for a fine on both BP Hellas and Shell Hellas on the grounds that both fuel retailers are following a common discount policy which maintains a non-competitive relationship between them in the pricing of unleaded gasoline. The ministry’s General Secretariat for Competition said in a statement that the two companies’ policy violates both national and Community law. Its recommendation is not binding for the Competition Commission, which will ultimately decide after hearing the views of all parties. Lamda sells 50 percent stake in The Mall Athens to HSBC Property firm Lamda Development signed an agreement with HSBC Property Investments for the sale of 49.23 percent of The Mall Athens. Lamda Olympia Village, a subsidiary of Lamda Development and owner of The Mall, will sell 13,006.15 shares for an estimated 135 million euros. The Mall’s valuation was based on its 6.1 percent yield rate, taking the value of the shopping center to 410 million euros. The agreed price is based on the value of the asset minus the debts of Lamda Olympia Village. This is the biggest agreement to date in the Greek commercial property market with a foreign investor involved. PPC exclusion OK The government’s decision to exclude the Public Power Corporation from participating in tenders for new power plants until July 1, 2007 is compatible with Community legislation, European Energy Commissioner Andris Pielbags told Greek Euro-MP Dimitris Papadimoulis. «Because the restriction applied only to a particular national company, it is not deemed to constitute restriction to the freedom of installation and the freedom of the provision of services… the (relevant) directive maintains in Article 7 the possibility for member states to auction new capacity in a restricted number of circumstances,» said Pielbags’s written reply. Genco Shipping company Genco Shipping & Trading company, owned by Peter Georgiopoulos, recently announced the acquisition of three cargo vessels from Franco Compania Naviera, for $81.25 million. The three ships have been built in Japan and are expected to be delivered between August and November 2006. The new additions will bring Genco’s fleet to 20 vessels (seven panamax, eight handimax and five handysize). Arcelor in Romania Arcelor, the world’s second-largest steelmaker, will set up a steel service center in Romania with Spain’s Bamesa, with the two companies investing 30 million euros ($38 million) until 2008. «This new center will be 40 percent-owned by Arcelor and will be located in the Topoloveni region, close to the Dacia (Renault group) plants that produce the Logan car,» Arcelor said in a statement yesterday. (Reuters)