In Brief

PPC is mulling sale of fixed-line telecom Tellas The Public Power Corporation (PPC) is considering selling its stake in Tellas, the country’s second-largest fixed-line telecom operator, PPC said yesterday. «PPC is investigating the value of whether it should remain in the telecommunications sector, taking into consideration the European trend, where energy companies entered the telecoms market in the 1990s, only for them to retreat from those operations a decade later,» PPC said in a filing to the Athens bourse. The company did not provide further details, while PPC officials declined to comment on the announcement. Greek media reported yesterday Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris was in talks with PPC to buy the remaining 49.99 percent in Tellas he doesn’t already own. Sawiris’s Weather Investments owns 50 percent plus one share of Tellas. Sawiris has said he wants to buy the remaining Tellas stake. Financial daily Imerisia said he has offered about 150 million euros for the stake, while PPC is asking for 350 million euros. «PPC is in talks with Sawiris, but there is a huge price gap between what is being asked and what is being offered,» a source close to PPC, who declined to be named, told Reuters. The source said there was no time frame for when talks would end. (Reuters) Inflation rises for Cyprus, future eurozone member NICOSIA (AP) – Consumer prices in Cyprus rose by 2.2 percent on the year in May, up from 1.8 percent in April, the statistics service said yesterday. Healthcare costs rose 7.63 percent, while food and non-alcoholic beverages recorded a 7.33 percent increase. On a month-to-month basis, consumer prices rose 0.5 percent in May, mainly due to increases in the prices of certain fresh fruit and clothing items, petroleum products and water. Decreases were recorded in the prices of certain fresh vegetables and potatoes, the service said. BoC in Russia Bank of Cyprus has been granted a license to start banking activities in Russia, it said yesterday. The bank, Cyprus’s largest lender, said it was the first Greek or Cypriot bank to enter the Russian market. Initially, it would focus on developing a loan portfolio and services to existing corporate clients, and would develop mainly in Moscow and St Petersburg, it said. «This is a very promising new market,» CEO Andreas Eliades said. (Reuters) Greek prices rise Greece’s headline consumer inflation picked up to an annual 2.6 percent pace in May, mainly affected by higher fuel prices, the National Statistics Service said yesterday. «We have a slight acceleration due to the increase in oil prices, which are expected to continue moving higher. The outlook for inflation is for further acceleration as a favorable base effect wears off,» said Nikos Magginas of National Bank. (Reuters) Texas Pacific in Turkey US-based Texas Pacific Group has shown interest in Turkey’s Oyak Bank, the Sabah newspaper said yesterday. The paper, which cited no sources, said parent company Oyak Group was warm to the idea as TPG pledged to preserve the bank’s name and the group could still have a say in the bank’s management after the sale. (Reuters)

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