ECONOMY

In Brief

Moreas earns contract for Peloponnese highway The Environment and Public Works Ministry yesterday signed the concession for the Eastern Peloponnese Highway, a project which will considerably cut traveling time to the southern prefectures of Messinia and Lakonia. The project was conceded for 30 years to the Moreas consortium of companies, consisting of Hellenic Technodomiki TEV, Pantechniki and Intracom Holdings. Italy’s Impregilo withdrew from the consortium. The route includes the Corinth-Tripolis-Kalamata and the Lefktra-Sparta highways, a total of 205 kilometers, which will be either constructed anew or improved and maintained. The contractor must complete the project in 54 months. Piraeus Bank 2006 net up 65 pct, above forecasts Piraeus Bank, Greece’s fourth-largest lender, said yesterday full-year 2006 net profit grew by a better-than-expected 65 percent to -434.7 million, boosted by strong loan growth and one-off capital gains. The group, present in Bulgaria, Romania, Egypt, Albania and Serbia, said net interest income rose 28 percent year-on-year to -715 million. A Reuters poll of 10 analysts had forecast on average a 62 percent rise in net group earnings to -427.6 million. (Reuters) Greek 33-yr bond The lion’s share of the 33-year Greek bond sale on Tuesday was taken up by British and Irish investors and other foreign institutions, data from the country’s debt office showed yesterday. On Tuesday Greece set the size of its 4.6 percent bond due September 2040 at -4 billion, above an initial 3 billion, and priced it to yield 37.5 basis points over the 4 percent German bund due January 2037. The issue met with strong interest with 110 accounts snatching the bonds. About 48 percent were banks, 41 percent asset managers and 11 percent insurers and pension funds. (Reuters) Intralot and US Intralot, the world’s third-largest lottery systems supplier, has expressed initial interest for the privatization of Indiana’s state lottery in the United States, a Greek newspaper reported yesterday. Intralot will bid for the lottery in partnership with major world banks, Financial newspaper To Kerdos said, citing unnamed sources. The paper did not name the banks. Intralot was also interested in bidding for the Illinois state lottery which was also expected to go up for sale, the paper said. The firm, which also manages sports betting worth about -4.5 billion in Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Malta, has recently won sports betting and horse racing licences in Italy. (Reuters) Mobilkom-FYROM Mobilkom, the mobile unit of Telekom Austria, was the sole bidder for a third mobile phone licence in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, officials said yesterday. FYROM’s Agency for Electronic Telecommunications will decide by February 12 whether the bid meets the conditions of the tender announced in October 2006. «By the end of the deadline… there is only one offer, from Mobilkom,» Liljana Denkovska, head of the tender commission, told reporters.The value of the offer was not announced. (Reuters)