ECONOMY

In Brief

Italy’s Enel to buy Greek wind power plants MILAN (Reuters) – Italian power utility Enel «has agreed to buy wind power plants in Greece with a total capacity of 127 megawatts,» Enel said yesterday. Enel, Europe’s third-biggest power company, is buying the plants from Greece’s Copelouzos Group, it said in a statement. Financial details were not released. The agreement calls for the purchase of operating wind power plants with a capacity of 84 megawatts and plants with 43 megawatts capacity that are under construction. Copelouzos is a partner in the Enelco consortium. Enelco last month won bidding to build Greece’s first private power plant. The purchase puts Enel among Greece’s top three wind power producers, it said. Turkish lira hits 2007 high against dollar ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The Turkish lira strengthened to a new 2007 high against the dollar yesterday, supported by foreign cash inflows, which also boosted shares and bonds. Markets shrugged off recent concerns over a dispute between the Islamist-rooted government and the secularist establishment. The lira ended the day at 1.3202, compared with a previous high for the year of 1.3255 on April 26. The currency is back to where it was at the end of April last year, just before a mass exodus from Turkish markets which sliced 25 percent off the currency’s value. The main share index closed 1.43 percent higher at 45,539.69, having fallen 0.54 percent on Tuesday. In the bond market, the Feb 4, 2009 benchmark’s yield fell to 18.89 percent from a close on Tuesday of 19.06. In Thursday-dated trade it fell further to 18.77 percent. Nireus ups Norway stake Greek fish farmer Nireus, which owns 29.88 percent of Norwegian fish producer Marine Farms, said on Tuesday «people connected with Nireus» bought 180,000 shares in the Norwegian company. Greek investors own a total of 12,210,147 shares, or 33.34 percent, of Marine Farms including the Nireus stake. Nireus, Greece’s largest fish farming group, has been expanding production internationally through acquisitions and direct investments, including deals in Spain and Turkey. The acquisition helps Nireus boost its product range with new fish varieties – salmon, cod and cobia. Nireus has a fish farming capacity of 52,500 tonnes annually and production of 236 million fry. (Reuters) ATEbank net profit up Greece’s ATEbank said yesterday first quarter group net profit rose 56.3 percent to 74.6 million euros ($101.3 million) thanks to capital gains and strong growth in retail credit. Net interest income at the state-controlled bank, slated for privatization this year, grew 12.7 percent to 157.9 million euros.(Reuters) Interamerican Finance Insurance company Interamerican yesterday announced the launch of subsidiary Interamerican Finance, whose aim is to broker the promotion of banking products and services for consumers and businesses. It forms part of the Interamerican group’s expansion plan into financial services.