ECONOMY

In Brief

Report: Naguib Sawiris eyeing remaining Greek Tellas stake Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris is interested in buying the remaining stake he does not already own in Greek telecom Tellas if it comes up for sale, Greek daily Imerisia reported yesterday. «I want all of Tellas,» Sawiris was quoted as saying in an interview with the newspaper. «Our biggest challenge is to create a company that encases all our activities.» Sawiris’s Weather Investments controls Italian fixed-lined and mobile operator Wind, which owns 50 percent plus one share in Greece’s second largest carrier, Tellas. The remaining stake is controlled by Greek utility Public Power Corporation (PPC). Weather Investments earlier this month also bought Greece’s third-largest mobile phone operator, TIM Hellas. Sawiris said he plans to merge TIM Hellas and Tellas’s operations within 2007 as part of his plans to provide a strong alternate full-range carrier in Greece, the report said. (Reuters) Jumbo shares jump following rosy forecast for 2007 Shares in Greece’s largest toy retailer Jumbo gained 5.4 percent on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday after the firm announced positive guidance for its fiscal 2007 year. Jumbo said it expects a 40 percent rise in net profit for its fiscal 12 months to the end of June after it posted strong first-half results. Sales are also seen as rising 20 percent in the same period. Jumbo earlier yesterday posted a net profit of 39.7 million euros in the six months to December last year, up 41.4 percent, boosted by increased brand awareness and a shift to more lucrative maternity products. Its sales grew 21.8 percent to 203.2 million euros, despite a work stoppage at the country’s main ports late last year. (Reuters) Turkish rates Turkey’s central bank left key interest rates unchanged yesterday, as expected, and said a downward trend in inflation will become clearer from the second quarter of the year. After the regular monthly meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), the bank said in a statement it left the overnight borrowing rate at 17.5 percent and the lending rate at 22.5 percent. (Reuters) Nuclear closure A deal between the European Union and Bulgaria that forced the EU newcomer to shut down Soviet-era nuclear reactors cannot be changed, the bloc’s energy chief said yesterday. «There will be no changes possible because the accession treaty is primary law and the reason for the shutdown was not because of excessive power but because of basic (safety) flaws,» Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs told a news conference. Bulgaria has closed two of the four reactors at its Kozloduy plant under the treaty that allowed the Black Sea state to join the EU on January 1. It has since lobbied to reopen them. (Reuters) Bulgarian growth Bulgarian Finance Minister Plamen Oresharski said yesterday he expects 2006 economic growth to have accelerated by 6.5 percent last year and hops that rate of expansion will be matched this year. (Reuters)