ECONOMY

In Brief

Piraeus container terminal dockers return to normal schedule Work at Piraeus port’s container terminal yesterday was back in full swing after a 52-day overtime ban and go-slow by dockworkers protesting plans to privatize some port services. Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) officials said they expect the number of ships calling at the terminal to increase in the coming days and the situation to return to normal within two weeks. «However, collecting all products unloaded in various ports of the Mediterranean and bringing them to Piraeus and Thessaloniki will take about two months,» the International Maritime Union’s president, Nikos Arvanitis, told Kathimerini. Piraeus traders demanded that OLP exempt them from storage surcharges for the period of the dockers’ action and the return of any already paid. Neochimiki wins Serbia refinery tender BELGRADE (Reuters) – Greek chemicals firm Neochimiki won a tender for a majority stake in Rafinerija Nafte Beograd (RNB), Serbia’s biggest motor oil and lubricant producer, the Serbian privatization agency said yesterday. Neochimiki offered -16.38 million for the 70 percent stake in RNB and pledged to invest a further 15 million euros. «Neochimiki will hold 70 percent of the company while 15 percent will be held by employees and another 15 percent will go to the state privatization fund,» said privatization agency spokesman Rade Sevic. Fuel market distortions The Competition Commission’s final report – published yesterday after public consultation – on smoothing out the market distortions in the fuels distribution chain presents an embellished version of the initial report. The report finds a high degree of industrial concentration at refining level with only two operators, the absence of a wholesale trade and a tendency for prices to rise in gas stations with an exclusive relationship with distribution companies. The distortions are intensified by the legal framework which discourages imports at competitive prices, does not allow the issuing of new licenses to delivery trucks and prevents the full liberalization of gas stations’ business hours, the report said. It notes that the prices charged by the two refiners, Hellenic Petroleum and Motor Oil, are among the highest in Europe, despite the low cost of crude oil they enjoy. Bulgaria investment Italian financial group Finanziaria Internazionale is planning to invest -200 million in an industrial park in Bulgaria, the country’s daily newspaper Monitor reported yesterday. The firm, majority shareholder in Industrial Park Sofia AD, the project’s managing firm, did not disclose details on the timeline of the project, which should be built near Bulgaria’s capital Sofia, Monitor wrote. Finanziaria has already signed a memorandum with Bulgaria’s Defense Ministry to exchange property it owns for over 1.0 million square meters of land owned by the ministry, Monitor said. (Reuters)