ECONOMY

In Brief

Athens airport traffic attains new high Athens International Airport (AIA) yesterday reported a new rise in both passenger and cargo traffic for last year. In 2006, 15.1 million passengers used it, a 5.6 percent rise year-on-year, while the number of flights grew by 5.5 percent. Cargo traffic exceeded 120,000 tons, up by 3.6 percent from 2005. December was the month with the highest rise in passenger numbers (13.5 percent) from the same month in 2005. AIA now has direct connections with 109 destinations in 49 countries. The Mideast and the USA were the two regions to which traffic recorded the highest increases (16.8 percent and 12.9 percent, respectively). Intracom’s software unit wins 20-mln-euro EU deal Intracom, Greece’s largest telecoms equipment maker, said yesterday its software unit, Intrasoft International, won a 20-million-euro network contract for the European Commission. Intrasoft will provide network support for about 40,000 end users in the EC, including its data, telephony, videoconferencing and television networks, for a six-year period, the company said in a statement. «This is a key contract for the European Commission,» Intrasoft Chief Executive Athanassios Kotsis said in the statement. «It concerns business-critical activities which constitute the basis of its whole infrastructure.» Intracom stock has gained about 6 percent this year and trades at about 30.3 times estimated 2007 earnings, a slight premium to its European peers which trade at about 28.6, according to Reuters Estimates. (Reuters) Bulgaria investment Greek shipping company Danaos Group will invest 266 million levs (136 million euros) over the next three years in a trading center in Sofia, the Bulgarian investment agency said. The company, through its Bulgarian subsidiary Danaos Development, is planning to build shops, restaurants, cinemas and offices in the planned three-floor building. The center will employ some 1,000 people after it is finalized and another 360 during construction, the agency said. EU newcomer Bulgaria has attracted a spate of foreign investment in real estate and new shopping malls over the last year and sees foreign direct investment rising to almost 5 billion euros this year, from a record 4 billion last year. (Reuters) Piraeus Bank Piraeus Bank said yesterday it would proceed with its tender for at least 40 percent of Marfin Popular Bank after a Cyprus top-court decision. «Piraeus Bank is going ahead with its public offer,» Greece’s fourth-largest lender said. (Reuters) Credit growth slows Greece’s total credit expansion slowed to 13.9 percent year-on-year in November from a 15.7 percent annual pace in October, provisional Bank of Greece data showed. The slowdown was less pronounced in credit to households and firms. (Reuters)