ECONOMY

In Brief

Government to sell 15 pct of Postal Savings Bank soon Greece will sell down its 65 percent holding in Postal Savings Bank (TT) by placing at least 15 percent with investors soon, Deputy Finance Minister Petros Doukas told reporters. «The placement is imminent, in the coming weeks,» he said. He said the government’s stake was «likely to fall below 50 percent.» The sale is part of the government’s privatizations agenda for 2007, also aimed at raising funds to pay down public debt. Postal Savings Bank has a current market value of 2.52 billion euros ($3.43 billion). At current prices, a 15 percent stake could fetch about 378 million euros for the state. The government took TT public last year, selling 35 percent in an initial public offering. The bank operates only in Greece with a network of about 136 branches. (Reuters) Croatia calls tender for major road tunnels ZAGREB (Reuters) – Croatia’s state road company HAC yesterday called an international tender to enlarge two tunnels on a key highway linking the capital with the Adriatic coast. The cost is estimated at some 600 million kuna ($112.1 million) and the work is due to be completed by the summer of 2009. The tender runs until August 16, state news agency Hina reported. The project will involve building second tunnels alongside the current single Sveti Rok and Mala Kapela tunnels in mountainous central Croatia. The existing 6 kilometers (3.5 miles) of tunnels are routinely heavily congested during the summer tourist season. Prime Minister Ivo Sanader’s government has planned to invest some 32 billion kuna in building roads and highways during its mandate, between 2004 and 2008. Greek gov’t bonds The volume of government debt traded on the central bank’s electronic system (HDAT) rose to 58.85 billion euros in June from 56.58 billion in May, the Bank of Greece said. Daily average turnover in June was 2.8 billion euros versus 2.69 billion in the previous month. The most actively traded bond was the 10-year benchmark which recorded 17.7 billion euros worth of transactions. Bond yields rose, particularly on long term maturities, in line with the performance in the rest of the eurozone. The yield curve steepened. The yield difference between 30- and 3-year bonds widened to 51 basis points from 40 in May. (Reuters) Closed-end funds Shares in Greece’s eight listed closed-end funds traded at discounts to their underlying net asset value (NAV) in June, Association of Institutional Investors data showed yesterday. The association said investment funds traded at discounts ranging from 11.56 to 27.04 percent, with the sector’s weighted average discount at 20.9 percent. The listed funds had a combined 405 million euros in assets under management, up from 401 million in May. Cyprus inflation Cyprus’s EU-harmonized inflation rate fell to 1.7 percent year-on-year in June from 1.9 percent in May, the Statistics Department said yesterday. The HICP rate was lower than headline consumer inflation, which was running at an annual 1.9 percent pace in June. Turk power plant A unit of Turkish energy and construction firm Enka has applied to energy watchdog EPDK to build a 800 MW coal-fueled power plant, it said yesterday. Enka unit Enka Energy Production would build the plant in Izmir in western Turkey, the firm said in a short statement to the stock market.