In Brief

OTE denies reports of deal to sell Armentel stake Greece’s dominant telecoms operator OTE yesterday denied press reports it had agreed to sell its 90 percent stake in Armenian telecoms firm Armentel to Etisalat. «Reports referring to a culmination in the sale procedure of our Armentel unit… do not reflect reality,» OTE said in a filing to the Athens Stock Exchange. «OTE will inform the investing public when a final decision regarding the buyer for Armentel is made.» Greek media earlier yesterday reported Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat had won the tender, offering 480 million euros for Armenia’s largest telecoms operator. (Reuters) EBRD lends Albania 16 mln euros for power grid upgrade TIRANA (AP) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has loaned 16 million euros to the Albanian power corporation to update its aging transmission technology, the Finance Ministry said yesterday. The state-owned Albanian Electro-Energy Corporation, or KESH, will use the money from a 12-year loan to replace outdated transmission technology in five northern areas, according to a statement. Albania has suffered chronic electricity problems during the post-communist period since 1990 due to chronic nonpayment, poor management, a poor system and lack of money. Ninety percent of the country’s electricity is produced in the north from hydroelectric plants that suffer from lack of rain and work at less than half capacity due to outdated technology. Cyprus inflation lower Lower fuel prices pushed Cyprus’s EU harmonized inflation rate down to 2.2 percent year-on-year in September from 2.7 percent in August, the statistics department said yesterday. The Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) fell due to the favorable effect from the reduction in petrol prices. On a yearly basis, the prices of clothing and footwear fell, while the costs of food, non-alcoholic beverages and tuition fees rose. The 12-monthly average rate of change of the HICP index from October 2005 to September 2006 was 2.3 percent, the statistics department said. (Reuters) Intralot Lottery systems supplier Intralot said yesterday its subsidiary in South Africa was part of a consortium which won a tender to operate South Africa’s national lottery. Intralot said the Gidani consortium, in which its subsidiary Intralot South Africa holds an 18 percent stake, will operate South Africa’s national lottery for seven years, as of April 2007. The South African government holds a 20 percent share in the consortium, it said. Intralot said the operation of the South African lottery could produce annual gross revenues of 90 million euros. The Greek supplier will provide, install and support 7,626 terminals and other hardware, the core operating system and the telecommunications infrastructure, it said. (Reuters) Industrial output up Greek industrial output rose 2.3 percent in August year-on-year, accelerating from 1.4 percent growth in July, due to higher electricity and natural gas production, the National Statistics Service said yesterday. (Reuters)