In Brief

Greek first-quarter GDP grows 4.6 pct y/y vs 4.4 pct in Q4 The country’s economy grew at an annual 4.6 percent pace in the first quarter, a quicker pace than the previous quarter’s 4.4 percent clip, the National Statistics Service said yesterday based on provisional data. GDP growth was driven by continued robust consumption and investment and a strong rebound in exports, the data showed. «All the indicators show that for the forthcoming quarters strong growth will continue. For 2007 we expect the rate of growth to be about 4.1 percent.» «The numbers are the same as initial forecasts. We had a large increase in the first quarter of investments while domestic consumption continues to support growth,» Alpha Bank economist Dimitris Maroulis said. (Reuters) Technodomiki Q1 net down 35 pct, meets forecasts Greece’s largest construction group, Hellenic Technodomiki, reported a 35 percent drop in first-quarter net profit yesterday, due to lower profit margins. The group’s net profit came in at 16.1 million euros compared to 24.7 million in the same period last year, it said in a financial statement published in the press. In an earlier Reuters poll, analysts forecast average net profit of 16.5 million euros. Sales rose to 186.2 million euros from 135.4 million euros a year earlier, with construction activity making up about 85 percent of the group’s total revenues. Technodomiki has been involved in many Greek public projects in recent years. It receives tolls from the operation of a key Athens ring road and the Rio-Antirio bridge connecting southern Greece to the mainland. The contractor, also active in waste management and wind energy, is looking to expand abroad to offset lower margins at home. (Reuters) Motor Oil profit drops Net profits at Motor Oil Hellas, Greece’s second-largest refiner, dropped 40 percent in the first quarter of the year to 25.7 million euros, as a mild winter slowed sales, the company reported yesteray. Sales fell 15 percent to 808.1 million euros, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) declined to 56.1 million euros from 78.7 million euros in the same period of 2006. An unseasonally warm winter and low oil prices compared to the same period last year, squeezed refiners’ profit margins, analysts said. (Reuters) Turk trade deficit leaner Turkey’s trade deficit narrowed 11.5 percent year-on-year to $4.545 billion in April, the Turkish Statistics Institute said yesterday, broadly in line with a Reuters poll forecast of $4.50 billion. Exports rose 28.3 percent year-on-year to $8.267 billion, while imports climbed a slower 10.6 percent to $12.812 billion. The Institute revised the March deficit to $4.130 billion from a previous $4.076 billion. (Reuters) Fitch on Greek RMBS Fitch Ratings said yesterday in a Performance Report that Greek residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) have shown good performance to date. The Greek RMBS market has been growing rapidly over the last year with total issuance from Greek lenders now exceeding 6 billion euros. Transactions rated by Fitch to date have performed in line with expectations of arrears levels remaining low in comparison to other European jurisdictions.

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