In Brief

Greece opens door for PPC cheap power compensation Electricity utility Public Power Corp (PPC) may soon be reimbursed for having to provide cheap energy to parts of Greece after the government yesterday agreed to a formula to calculate compensation. The move could boost PPC’s earnings, which have been hurt in part by the compulsory provision of cheap power to several islands, farmers and families with many children under rules dating back to when PPC was a state-run monopoly. Government-set tariffs also prevent the utility from passing on rising energy costs to consumers. «The state will cover its obligations toward PPC,» Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, who oversees PPC, said in a statement. «With this move we are setting the foundation for a well-operating liberalized market.» PPC has said the provision of cheap electricity in 2005 cost the group about 495 million euros. (Reuters) OPAP sees no problem if IT tender fails Europe’s biggest betting firm OPAP said it would continue operating normally even if a key tender to upgrade its IT unit, a key issue for the lottery’s future, failed. «No matter what the development (of the IT tender) is, OPAP will continue operating normally and effectively,» OPAP’s CEO Vassilis Neiadas told institutional investors yesterday. «Even in the case that for some reason there is no winner in the tender, we will find a solution to continue with the current system for some time,» he said. OPAP launched a tender to upgrade its IT unit and secure 9,000 new terminals and maintenance services for its future growth in 2006 but objections by bidders have delayed the process. Greece’s Intralot, Italy’s Gtech and US Scientific Games are competing in the tender, which expires in mid-July. OPAP was still in talks with lottery systems provider Intralot to extend a current contract to provide the lottery with 3,500 terminals, Neiadas said. (Reuters) Serbia’s Bor mine Serbia will offer its troubled copper complex RTB Bor to the second-ranking bidder in a tender, after canceling an earlier sale deal with top bidder Cuprom of Romania, the economy minister said yesterday. A consortium led by East Point Holdings Ltd, a Cyprus-based Serb-owned company, offered $340 million euros for RTB Bor at the tender last year. Cuprom had offered $400 million. Cuprom had sealed the deal by pledging to invest another $200 million over a five-year period. The deal, signed in March, was canceled after the Romanian firm failed to provide payment guarantees on time and encountered huge resistance by unions. The government had previously mulled a new tender for Bor. (Reuters) Cyprus trade deficit Cyprus’s trade deficit from January to April hit 888.3 million Cyprus pounds ($2.06 billion), statistics department figures showed yesterday. Total exports reached 213.8 million Cyprus pounds, while total imports were worth 1.2 billion pounds. (Reuters) Bulgaria inflation Bulgaria’s annual consumer price inflation was 4.3 percent in May, slightly up from 4.2 percent the previous month, statistics office data showed.

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