ECONOMY

In Brief

Cosmote does not win 3G license in Romania Mobile phone operator Cosmote, Greece’s largest, said yesterday its Romanian subsidiary did not win one of two 3G licenses the Romanian regulatory authorities had tendered. «Even though Cosmote has a unique experience in the successful rollout and operation of 3G technologies, with two 3G networks in Greece and Bulgaria, Cosmote has not been awarded a license,» it said in a statement. (Reuters) Sanpaolo, Raiffeisen and ATEbank eye Albanian bank TIRANA (Reuters) – Italy’s Sanpaolo IMI, Austria’s Raiffeisen International and Greece’s ATEbank are in talks to buy the American Bank of Albania (ABA), Albania’s second-biggest lender, sources close to the negotiations said yesterday. Another source said Raiffeisen, already present in Albania since buying the Savings Bank two years ago, might abandon talks soon. Sanpaolo owns the smaller Italian-Albanian Bank and ATEbank has no presence in the country. ABA issued over $200 million worth of loans in 2005, posting total assets of some $540 million and net profit of $6.0 million for the same period on strong asset and deposit growth. The largest bank by assets in Albania is Raiffeisen Albania, a unit of Raiffeisen International. ABA was founded in 1998 by the Albanian-American Enterprise Fund (AAEF), a private corporation set up with United States funding. Turkish budget Turkey may not meet its ambitious primary surplus target in 2006 because of a government policy of steady electricity prices as part of its anti-inflation program, economic officials said in Ankara yesterday. State electricity companies transfer their profits to the Treasury to be included in public sector primary surplus and a fall in profits dent the surplus, which is targeted at 6.5 percent of the gross national product this year. «It is not possible to attain 6.5 percent primary surplus target if profits are sacrificed so the government must decide what to do about this,» a senior economic official, who declined to be named, said. (Reuters) DryShips Greece’s DryShips Inc said it expects third-quarter earnings to be reduced by about 68 cents per share, due to settlement and closing of freight forward agreements it entered into in previous quarters. The company said it had entered into freight forward agreements (FFAs) to protect against a declining market going into the seasonally low summer period, but settled them since the freight market staged a contra-seasonal recovery. In a news release, the company said it does not have any open FFA contracts currently. Turkcell Turkcell, Turkey’s leading mobile phone operator, said yesterday its total number of subscribers reached 30.8 million as of September 30, 2006.