ECONOMY

In Brief

Marfin Popular says it is eyeing Russian acquisition Marfin Popular Bank (MPB), which has bought three foreign banks over the past two months, is considering an acquisition in Russia as part of its plans to expand internationally, the lender said yesterday. «Marfin Popular… is considering the purchase of a bank in Russia. Investors will be informed promptly if final decisions are taken,» the lender said in a stock exchange filing. No further details were given. MPB on Monday agreed to buy a 43 percent stake in Maltese lender Lombard Bank Malta (LBM) for 48.3 million euros ($68.78 million). Earlier this month, MPB’s parent Marfin Investment Group (MIG) bought a 50.1 percent stake in Estonian Bank SBM for about 6.5 million euros. The stake was transferred to MRB. (Reuters) CCHBC approves 1-for-2 share issue Coca-Cola HBC (CCHBC) received shareholder approval for a one-for-two share issue, capitalizing on share premium reserves, the bottler said in a statement late on Monday. Shareholders approved the increase in CCHBC’s share capital by about 60.5 million euros, and the issue is subject to regulatory approval, CCHBC said in a statement. The new shares are expected to start trading on the Athens bourse in November, it said. The world’s second-largest bottler of Coke products has said the move was part of its plans to make the stock accessible to a broader range of investors and improve the liquidity of the shares. (Reuters) Quintana Greece’s Quintana Maritime Ltd said yesterday it planned to evaluate strategic alternatives, sending its shares to a new year-high. In a statement, Chairman Corbin Robertson cited significant increases in asset values in the dry-bulk shipping industry during the past year. Earlier, Jefferies & Co raised its price target on Quintana to $31 from $24 per share, saying the outlook for the dry-bulk shipping market remains attractive as significant quantities of new iron ore production capacity come on line over the next 12 months. Shares of the company, which have more than doubled in value so far this year, rose $2.06 to $27.29 in morning trade on the Nasdaq. The shares touched their year-high of $28 earlier in the session. (Reuters) Turkey energy Turkey’s Enerji SA, owned by Sabanci Holding and Austria’s Verbund, aims to invest $6.5 billion in electricity-generating capacity by 2015 to reach 5,000 megawatts, Sabanci said yesterday. Sabanci CEO Ahmet Dorduncu said the firm would invest in gas, wind, coal and hydropower plants to raise capacity from 455.5 MW at present. Energy demand in Turkey is set to show hefty growth and Enerji said earlier this month it grew 9.8 percent year-on-year in the first seven months of 2007. (Reuters) BoC appointment Bank of Cyprus said yesterday it recruited Spyros Pantelias to head its investment banking, asset management and securities trading business in Greece and Cyprus. Pantelias was previously deputy general manager at Emporiki Bank. (Reuters)