ECONOMY

In Brief

OTE Internet customers triple at end-2006 Telecoms group OTE said yesterday it had more than tripled the number of customers using its high-speed Internet services, meeting targets it had set for the end of 2006. OTE had about 512,000 broadband customers at the end of December, more than triple the 150,000 customers it had registered 12 months earlier, the company said in a statement. OTE has cut its high-speed Internet service charges by up to 67 percent over the past three-and-a-half years as part of its plans to boost broadband usage in the country, which is among the lowest in Europe, and increase profits. «Based on our business plan, we will further intensify our attempts to soon reach (the level) of our European peers,» OTE’s Chief Executive Panayis Vourloumis said in the statement. (Reuters) Petralia: Attack won’t keep away American tourists Tourism Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia said she is confident that last Friday’s grenade attack on the US Embassy, allegedly by local leftist terrorists, will not reduce the number of American tourists coming to Greece this year. She made the statement after talking to US Ambassador Charles Ries, President George W. Bush’s security adviser Frances Townsend and US travel agents. She said available booking data since October is very good, particularly for yachting holidays. Intralot in Argentina Intralot, the world’s third-largest lottery systems provider, said late on Sunday it has bought a majority stake in Argentina’s lottery systems company Techno Accion as part of its plans to expand in Latin America. Intralot said it bought a 50.1 percent stake, in a deal valuing the whole company at $22 million. Techno Accion has net cash of $3.5 million, Intralot said. «The gaming market of Argentina is very interesting as the projections for its growth are optimistic given the relative low penetration of gaming and the potential introduction of new games,» Intralot Chief Executive Constantinos Antonopoulos said in the statement. Intralot trades around 27.5 times its estimated 2007 earnings, compared with a P/E ratio of about 59.2 for Italy’s Lottomatica, according to Reuters Estimates. (Reuters) Tata bid for Daewoo Romania India’s Tata group has submitted a bid for Daewoo Automobile Romania, a Romanian minister delegate said yesterday, but he did not disclose the value of the bid or the size of the stake. The Tata group had submitted a letter of intent for the Romanian firm, Iuliu Winkler, Romania’s minister delegate for commerce, told reporters at a conference in New Delhi. The Tata group, which controls India’s top vehicle maker Tata Motors Ltd, joins global heavyweights including General Motors and Ford Motor Co, which have expressed an interest in the carmaker. Nirefs Fish-farming group Nirefs Aquaculture signed an agreement to buy a majority stake in local animal feed producer Kego as part of its expansion plans, it said yesterday. «This acquisition is expected to contribute toward the increase of the productive capacity of fish-feed and to the reduction of production costs of the final product,» Nirefs said in a statement.