ECONOMY

In Brief

Turkey tenders for oil search, set to irk Cyprus ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish oil company TPAO has opened a tender for oil and gas exploration in the Mediterranean, it said on its website late on Sunday, a move likely to increase tensions over the divided island of Cyprus. The proposal covers the same parts of the eastern Mediterranean as a tender launched by Cyprus in February. «We don’t know if this is true. If it is, it is another illegality committed by the Turkish side,» Christodoulos Pasiardis, the Cypriot government spokesman, said yesterday. The winner of the Turkish tender would carry out two-dimensional seismic studies on a 4,000-kilometer (2,485-mile) area in the Mediterranean. Studies will continue for one year after the contract is signed, TPAO said. TPAO said if bidders wanted, they could also make an offer for exploration in the Black Sea on Turkey’s northern coast. Hellenic Petroleum has new Libya gas find Greece’s largest refiner, Hellenic Petroleum, said yesterday a consortium in which it participates had made a new natural gas find in Libya. The group, which includes Spain’s Repsol and Woodside Energy, a unit of Australia’s Woodside Petroleum, discovered gas in an exploratory well in Libya’s Syrtis Basin, it said in a statement. «The test carried out in March 2007 confirmed the existence of natural gas deposits amounting to 12.1 million cubic feet per day,» Hellenic said. «Drilling was carried out by Woodside Energy.» The Greek refiner has a 20 percent stake in the consortium with Repsol Exploration Murzuq holding 35 percent and Australia’s Woodside Energy with 45 percent, under an exploration and production sharing agreement with Libya’s National Oil Corporation. (Reuters) Economic sentiment up Greek economic sentiment improved in April as stronger business confidence in industry and retail trade lifted the index to 112.0 points from 109.1 in March, the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said. Greece’s overall economic climate index is based on business expectations subindices covering industry, construction, retail trade, services and consumer confidence. The index remained above its 2000-06 moving average and was significantly improved from a 99.3 reading in the same month a year earlier, IOBE said yesterday. «The marked optimism in the industrial sector is being fed by upbeat projections on future production and orders while inventories are being reduced. In retail trade there are stronger expectations of a further rise in demand,» IOBE said. (Reuters) HELEX Q1 net rises 66 pct Hellenic Exchanges, the operator of the Athens stock and futures markets, said yesterday first-quarter net profit grew 66 percent to 23.9 million euros, boosted by stronger trading volumes. The operator said group revenues grew 41 percent to 41.7 million euros. Average daily trading volume on the Athens bourse rose 16 percent year-on-year in the first quarter to 457 million euros. (Reuters)