In Brief

Greeks enjoy cheapest European power bills LONDON (Reuters) – Energy market competition does not necessarily lead to low prices for consumers, partly because a lot of the costs of lighting their homes or fueling their cars is due to tax. Greek householders enjoy the cheapest power in Europe, although there is one big supplier, while Danish consumers pay the most for their electricity despite being able to choose from a number of companies, according to European Union data. Consumers in the United Kingdom, one of the most liberalized markets in Europe, enjoy the second-cheapest electricity after Greece and the cheapest power in Western Europe, when prices are adjusted to account for purchasing power. In terms of purchasing power parity, a typical residential consumer of 100 kWh pays 8.01 euros in Greece, 9.05 euros in the UK and 24.48 euros in Slovakia, the most expensive EU country for electricity consumers. Intralot shareholders clear bonus issue Lottery systems supplier Intralot got shareholder approval for a one-for-one bonus share issue at a repeat general meeting yesterday to capitalize on reserves. Chairman Socrates Kokkalis told shareholders he had no intention of selling any part of his 24 percent stake in the company. Intralot is looking forward to further expansion into the USA, Asia and the EU. «We foresee a continued expansion of our activities,» Kokkalis said. Intralot, the world’s second-biggest lottery systems supplier, has clinched IT deals in all six continents in recent years in a bid to cash in on the liberalization of world gaming markets. It also manages sports bets of about 4.5 billion euros around the world. (Reuters) Turkish lira firms Turkey’s lira firmed yesterday after Iraq’s president was quoted as saying Baghdad may hand over PKK separatists to Ankara, offering hope an anti-guerrilla incursion into northern Iraq could be avoided. The lira closed at 1.2100 to the dollar on the interbank market. It had closed on Tuesday at 1.2115. «The recent story has prompted a sale in FX for lira,» one trader said. «If hell breaks loose, the lira could in the short run be hit quite hard,» said Lars Rasmussen, strategist at Danske Bank. The main stock index fell 0.2 percent yesterday to 55,638.9 points. (Reuters) Maersk Officials of Maersk shipping company yesterday expressed interest in acquiring a stake in Piraeus’s commercial port terminal, in line with a government announcement earlier this week. However, they denied exploratory talks with other companies with a view to a joint venture for the container terminal. Maersk has a 16 percent global market share in container transport with 500 vessels. Coke donation The European arm of the Coca-Cola Company has donated $2 million to the Hellenic Olympic Committee toward the restoration of the area around Ancient Olympia damaged by forest fires last summer. EUROPIA Panos Cavoulacos, managing director of Hellenic Petroleum, has been elected chairman of the European Petroleum Industry Association for a two-year term.