ECONOMY

In Brief

TIM Hellas declines comment on reported sale Mobile phone operator TIM Hellas would not comment yesterday on media reports that its private equity fund owners are looking to sell it. According to Greek newspaper reports, interested buyers had until yesterday to submit non-binding bids for what is the country’s third-largest mobile operator, owned by Texas Pacific Group and Apax Partners. «It is against our company’s policy to comment on rumors,» a company official said. «Our answer is ‘No comment.’» Texas Pacific and Apax bought a controlling stake in TIM Hellas in April 2005 for 1.1 billion euros ($1.4 billion). According to press reports, the two equity funds are looking to sell the Greek mobile operator for 3-4 billion euros. (Reuters) Italy’s Enel ups stake in Greek Enelco to 75 pct MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s biggest utility Enel said yesterday it has agreed to raise its stake in Greek power company Enelco to 75 percent from 50 percent as part of its expansion strategy in Southeast Europe. Enel did not give the price of the deal, but said in a statement that the remaining 25 percent of Enelco is owned by Prometheus Gas, a company owned jointly by Copelouzos Group with Russia’s Gazprom. Enel CEO Fulvio Conti has said Enel and Gazprom may cooperate in Southeast Europe. Enel said that along with Prometheus Gas it aimed to be an important player in Greece’s liberalized energy market and it would also have the possibility of exporting energy to Italy via existing submarine power lines. Enel said Enelco will participate in all tenders to develop independent power generation stations in Greece. Separately, the group announced plans to invest 900 million euros in a 640-megawatt, coal-fired power plant in Bulgaria, to boost its generation capacity in the Balkan state to 1480 megawatts. GE eyes Romanian firm US giant General Electric Co is interested in buying Romanian state-owned electrical equipment maker Electroputere Craiova, the Romanian government said in a statement. Romania has been trying to sell a 62.8 percent stake in loss-making Electroputere, an industrial enterprise dating from communist days, since November 2005. Its market capitalization is about $10 million. (Reuters) Piraeus Bank FRN Piraeus Bank plans to sell a five-year floating rate note (FRN) in euros, an official at one of the banks managing the sale said in London yesterday. The benchmark-sized senior note will be launched soon, subject to market conditions, the official said. Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Natexis are managing the deal. Piraeus Bank is rated Baa1 by Moody’s Investors Service, BBB by Standard & Poor’s and BBB+ by Fitch Ratings. (Reuters)