In Brief

Egyptian-Greek group wins $240 mln port contract CAIRO (Reuters) – The Egyptian port of Damietta has awarded an Egyptian-Greek consortium a $240 million contract to build 2.3 kilometers (1.4 miles) of quays at its container terminal, the Egyptian ministry of transport said yesterday. The contract was signed between Damietta International Ports and the consortium of Arab Contractors and Archirodon, which a ministry statement called a Greek company. The new container terminal at Damietta will cost a total of $650 million and will increase the port’s container handling capacity to 4 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) a year from 1.2 million now, the statement said. Experimental operations will start at the end of 2008, it added. Albania sells phone company to Calik, Turk Telekom TIRANA (Reuters) – Albania’s government has sold 76 percent of its landline monopoly to a joint company of Turkey’s Calik Group and landline operator Turk Telekom for 120 million euros ($161 million), an official said yesterday. «Calik has entered a partnership with Turk Telekom and has also agreed to build its own mobile phone network.» The sale of Albtelecom will end the Balkan nation’s longest privatization saga. Calik was the sole bidder in the tender for Albtelecom in May 2005. But the Democratic Party government, which came to power in July 2005, refused to ratify the deal, saying Calik still had to satisfy the condition of having a partnership with a strategic telecoms operator. To satisfy that condition, Calik teamed up with Turk Telekom to form a joint company, 80 percent held by Calik and 20 percent held by Turk Telekom. Fiat, Tofas Italian carmaker Fiat and its Turkish joint venture Tofas will invest 350 million euros ($470 million) in building the new Doblo van in Turkey, Hurriyet newspaper said yesterday. Fiat’s CEO Sergio Marchionne said last month there was a more than 50 percent probability that it would produce the new Doblo in Turkey but that talks were continuing. «Fiat has chosen Tofas’s Bursa factory for the new version of the Doblo, which Poland and India had been seeking. Tofas-Fiat will invest 350 million euros for the new Doblo,» the Hurriyet article said. Tofas is a joint venture between Fiat and Turkish conglomerate Koc Holding. (Reuters) Bulgaria’s growth The Bulgarian economy grew by 6.2 percent in the 12 months to the first quarter of 2007, official data showed yesterday. The figures from the National Statistical Institute showed that industry generated 33.5 percent of overall growth, up from 32.2 percent in the first quarter of 2006. The Bulgarian economy grew by 6.1 percent in 2006 and the government is targeting 5.8 percent GDP growth in 2007. (AFP) BOC 500-mln debt issue Bank of Cyprus is to issue senior debt worth 500 million euros ($670.8 million), the lender said yesterday. Proceeds from the issue will be used to fund loans to customers of the group in Russia and Romania, it said. Bank of Cyprus launched operations in Romania in early 2007 and in June said it received a banking license to commence banking operations in Russia. It has also said it is considering an acquisition in Ukraine. (Reuters)

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