In Brief

Titan adds third firm to recent acquisitions in the USA Listed cement company Titan has added a third company to its recent acquisitions in the USA, the ready-mix concrete company Mechanicsville Concrete Inc (Powhatan Ready Mix), through its subsidiary Titan America LLC. The firm acquired maintains five production units in Richmond, Virginia. Last month, Titan also bought out S&W Ready Mix Concrete, the largest supplier of ready-mix concrete in North and South Carolina, for $235 million a few days ago and the Cumberland limestone mine for $36 million. Titan own seven cement plants outside Greece, in the USA, Egypt, Serbia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria. Closed-end funds trade at discount in March Shares in Greece’s eight listed closed-end funds traded at discounts to their underlying net asset value (NAV) in March, Association of Institutional Investors data showed yesterday. The association said investment funds traded at discounts ranging from 2.79 to 27.9 percent, with the sector’s weighted average discount at 18.2 percent. The listed funds had a combined 391 million euros ($524 million) in assets under management, up from 389 million in February. Closed-end funds, unlike open-end mutual funds, have a set number of shares. They trade like other securities. The sector’s average return on net asset value (NAV) was 2.94 percent in the year-to-end-March, underperforming the 9.8 percent gain on the Athens bourse’s benchmark general index (Reuters) Piraeus share buyback Piraeus Bank, Greece’s fourth-largest lender, said in a stock market filing yesterday it plans to buy back up to 10 percent of its shares by April 3, 2008. The bank said it plans to buy back up to 27,019,503 shares at a price no lower than 5 euros and no higher than 40 euros each, from April 16. It did not provide further details. Piraeus, with a current market value of 7.05 billion euros, expects this year’s profit to top 550 million euros ($737 million), its CEO told an annual shareholders meeting earlier in the month. (Reuters) Paintings sold Greek investors showed strong interest in an arts auction by the Petros Vergos firm at Zappeion Hall in Athens. Turnover totaled 2.25 million euros for 143 works of art by Greek painters. The «Hellenic History» painting by Constantinos Parthenis was sold for 345,000 euros, becoming the most expensive painting by Parthenis ever to be sold in Greece. «Admiral Miaoulis» by Nikos Engonopoulos, and «Erotokritos and Aretousa» by Theophilos were sold for a record 150,000 euros each. Turkish C/A deficit Turkey’s current account deficit rose on the month to a wider-than-expected $3.256 billion in February, the Turkish Statistics Institute said yesterday. It revised the January figure to $3.009 billion from a previously reported $2.248 billion. A Reuters poll had given a median forecast for the February deficit of $3 billion, after the gap came in at $3.27 billion in February last year. (Reuters)

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