ECONOMY

In Brief

Bank of Cyprus denies special interest in deal with Piraeus Bank of Cyprus (BOC) yesterday denied rumors it had assigned a special study toward a possible partnership with Piraeus Bank. «Consultation with international investment banks is conducted regularly with a view to assessing all data and strategic moves that the group may consider,» it said in a statement. BOC said it assigned priority to its dynamic growth in Cyprus and Greece and the prospects for its coming expansion into Romania and Cyprus were well known. «Developments in all these markets are monitored and any move for partnerships or expansion is assessed with the interest of shareholders in mind.» Ecofin commends Greece for fiscal audits since 2004 The European Union’s Economy and Finance Ministers’ Council (Ecofin), in its November 21 session, commended Greece’s Fiscal Audit Committee for its performance in the 2004-2006 period. Deputy Finance Minister Petros Doukas noted yesterday that, «particularly as regards the (EU) Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund, the committee conducted 384 audits in the 2004-2006 period, against just 75 in the previous three years.» Marfin Marfin Financial Group said yesterday that nine-month net profit jumped 249 percent year-on-year to 83.2 million euros on strong lending, exceeding previous company guidance. Marfin, 31.5 percent-owned by investment fund Dubai Financial, is set to merge with Cyprus’s Laiki Bank and small Greek bank Egnatia to form a bigger player focused on growth in Southeast Europe and the Middle East. (Reuters) Aegean Marine Petroleum Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc, which supplies and markets refined marine fuel and lubricants to ships in port and at sea, has raised the number of shares for its planned initial public offering to 12.5 million shares from 10 million. The Athens-based company, in an amended offering document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, also lowered the estimated price range to between $12 and $14 per share from $14-$16. The company has been approved for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol «ANW.» (Reuters) Hygeia Medical center Hygeia reported a net profit of 2.1 million euros ($2.7 million) in the latest nine-month period, according to its balance sheet published yesterday. The net profit figure compared with a loss of 1.1 million euros in the same period last year. Group sales rose 10 percent to 68.8 million euros. Hygeia, majority-owned by Marfin Financial Group, bought a 24.8 percent stake in maternity clinic Mitera for 60.5 million earlier in the year. (Reuters) Turkey IMF Turkey yesterday signed a letter of intent to the International Monetary Fund for a fifth review of its $10 billion loan deal. The IMF’s board is expected to meet in December to complete the fifth review. (Reuters)