ECONOMY

In Brief

Marfin calls on Piraeus for more disclosure Marfin Popular Bank (MPB), whose offer for Piraeus Bank was ruled invalid by Cyprus’s securities watchdog, proposed yesterday that the two banks disclose more details on a possible tie-up. The two launched rival takeover bids for each other last month. Piraeus Bank made an offer for at least 40 percent of MPB, valuing it at about half its market value of -6.4 billion. MPB said in a statement Piraeus Bank’s proposed share swap was «totally unacceptable» but it was still willing to look at it in a positive light, «given its stated strategy aimed at concentration in the banking sector to create synergies and earnings per share growth.» It said it believed mutual disclosure and the exchange of views on a common business plan would help form «a serious view» on a fair share swap ratio. (Reuters) EFG Eurobank agrees to buy Serbia’s Prospera EFG Eurobank, Greece’s third-largest lender, said yesterday it has reached a deal to buy a majority stake in Belgrade stock exchange member broker Prospera Securities for an undisclosed amount. «The deal… is part of the group’s strategy to further expand its capital market activities outside Greece,» EFG Eurobank said. The bank is already present in Serbia. Prospera ranked third last year with a 6.29 percent market share of trading volume on the Belgrade bourse. Eurobank said Prospera would continue to be managed by its current team. The acquisition is subject to approval by pertinent regulatory authorities in Greece, Serbia and Switzerland. (Reuters) Navios Maritime Shipping firm Navios Maritime Holdings Inc said it acquired Belgian maritime transport company Kleimar NV for $165.6 million in cash, subject to certain cash adjustments. In a statement, Navios said the purchase was funded through cash-on-hand as well as revolver credit facility. Kleimar also has purchase options on two capesize vessels, exercisable for an average price of $35.7 million during the first quarter of 2008. Turk Telekom Turkey’s leading fixed-line operator Turk Telekom saw revenues dip to 7.25 billion lira in 2006 from 7.4 billion the previous year amid a rise in competition, Chairman Paul Doany told Reuters. Doany said the company board had approved 1.3 billion lira in capital expenditure this year to help the partly state-owned carrier expand. He expected revenues to rise slightly this year, helped by lowering of tariffs from March 1. Doany said EBITDA was largely unchanged at 3.88 billion in 2006. (Reuters) Austria Volksbank Austria’s Volksbank International AG yesterday acquired Bosnia’s privately owned Zepter Komerc bank, based in the country’s Serb Republic. Officials said the value of the acquisition would be made public after the Competition Council and the Serb Republic’s banking agency approved the sale in April. But Zepter sources, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters that the bank was sold for -40 million. (Reuters)