ECONOMY

In Brief

J&P Avax leads in 239-mln-euro Polish project Construction group J&P Avax has been named preferred bidder to build a highway in Poland worth 239 million euros, the company said yesterday. Avax said its 214-million-euro-bid was the lowest among the five bids submitted by contractors and consortiums for the Sosnica-Belk highway in Poland. Avax shares, up 0.35 percent at 5.72 euros at 1128 GMT, trade at 21 times its estimated 2006 earnings, which compares with a multiple of 18.45 for the European construction sector, according to Reuters Estimates data. (Reuters) Technodomiki wins $199 mln Qatar airport deal Greece’s largest construction group Hellenic Technodomiki will take part in a joint venture for a $199-million (158-million-euro) airport project in Qatar, the contractor said late on Tuesday. Hellenic Technodomiki said its construction arm Aktor, Qatar’s Al Darwish Engineering, Cypriot Cybarco and Italy’s Cimolair would build the airline support facilities at Doha’s new airport. Aktor will hold a 40 percent stake in the joint venture, with the project expected to be completed in late 2008, Technodomiki said. Last month Technodomiki said it was teaming up with Greek metals and engineering group Mytilineos to bid for a lignite mine in northern Greece. (Reuters) Proton Bank Proton Bank denied yesterday media reports that it was working on a cooperation deal with French mutual bank Caisse d’Epargne. «Proton has not received a cooperation offer from Caisse d’Epargne… and is not in a position to know its intentions as regards its rumored entry in the local market,» Proton said in a stock market filing. However, Proton, which went public last year raising 17.5 million euros, added it was closely monitoring all possibilities and looking into cooperation schemes in the context of its strategy to grow and expand its business. Greek financial websites reported on Tuesday that Proton management was in talks with the French bank on selling a strategic stake. The Greek bank, with a current market value of 448 million euros, is in the process of merging with small unlisted Greek bank Omega. (Reuters) Bulgaria unemployment The jobless rate in Bulgaria fell to 8.44 percent in September, the government said yesterday. The rate was down by 0.30 percentage points from August. The total number of unemployed in September stood at 312,753 people. The government credited the continued drop in unemployment to an increase in worker demand in education, construction and the processing industry. (AP) Turk power hike Turkey’s electricity price hikes have raised distributors’ energy costs by 15 percent, the head of Turkey’s privatization agency said yesterday in a letter to the electricity watchdog EPDK. If electricity prices are not kept stable, this could create problems in the drive to sell off electricity distribution grids, he said. Analysts say the hike in energy costs also raise concerns about Turkish inflation prospects. (Reuters)