ECONOMY

In Brief

More than 16 million tourists expected to visit Greece in 2007 A record over-16 million tourists are expected to visit Greece this year, according to Tourism Development Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia, following two years of increase in arrivals and including a 10 percent rise last year. She told the Inner Cabinet that tourism contributes 1 billion euros per month to the economy, helping the development of the regions outside major cities. The meeting viewed positively the creation of golf courses combined with developing tourism units, which was distinguished from simple holiday house development. The outstanding town-planning issues of hotels are another priority, as they concern more than 80 percent of hotels. J&P Avax signs Polish road contract Construction group J&P Avax said yesterday it signed a 213.5-million-euro ($277 million) contract to build a section of a motorway in Poland. Avax will build a section of the country’s A1 highway in the southern part of Poland, including access roads, interchanges and 15 bridges near the town of Gliwice, the contractor said. Construction is expected to be completed within 24 months. Avax has already won two other construction projects in Poland, worth 13.7 million and 16.7 million euros, respectively, it said. (Reuters) Cyprus 06 tourism falls Tourism arrivals to Cyprus fell 2.8 percent to 2.4 million visitors in 2006, the island’s statistics department said yesterday. In December alone, arrivals were down 6.1 percent, led by an 18.1 percent drop in visitors from Britain, Cyprus’s largest tourism market, and Germany. The island’s tourism intake for 2005 was 2.47 million. The sector is an important one for the national economy, representing around 15 percent of Cyprus’s gross domestic product. (Reuters) Daewoo Automobile Four firms have submitted letters of intent for Romanian carmaker Daewoo Automobile, which the Black Sea state wants to sell this year, the country’s privatization agency AVAS said yesterday. The government has said it hopes to wrap up the process by June, after it bought back the majority stake from its bankrupt owner in 2006. «At present, there are four offers filed for Daewoo – General Motors, Ford, (India’s) Tata and (China’s) Chery Automobile,» Teodor Atanasiu, AVAS chief, told a news conference. He said he envisaged the buyer would have to ensure a minimum yearly output of 300,000 units. (Reuters) Morgan Stanley ups stake in MPB Marfin Popular Bank said yesterday that investment bank Morgan Stanley increased its indirect stake in the Greek lender to 5.013 from 4.477 percent. MPB is the bank that was formed by the triple merger of Greek banks Marfin and Egnatia with the Greek branch of Cypriot Laiki. (Reuters)