ECONOMY

In Brief

Alpha Bank chosen for exchange-traded fund Alpha Bank SA, Greece’s third- biggest bank, was chosen to develop an exchange-traded fund for Greece’s 20 biggest companies. Alpha Bank was chosen out of seven bids initially received for the contract, according to an e-mailed statement from the Athens bourse today. Hellenic Exchanges SA, which operates the Athens stock and derivatives markets, is developing the first such fund for the Greek exchange in a bid to draw more retail investors. The first ETF, as the funds are known, will be based on the FTSE/ASE 20 Index of the country’s 20 biggest companies. The fund is expected to begin trading in January next year, the exchange said in the statement. (Bloomberg) Cyprus says foot-and-mouth not proven in early test NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus yesterday said initial tests had failed to verify a suspected outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease at a farm on the island. Authorities have quarantined a farm in the south of the island after sheep showed symptoms of the debilitating and highly contagious disease last week. «The first indications we have from the laboratory is that it does not appear to be foot and mouth, but that does not mean it is the conclusive result,» Agriculture Minister Photis Photiou said. Conclusive results were expected from Britain on Wednesday afternoon, he said. Titan Cement net down Cement producer Titan said yesterday nine-month net profit dropped 9 percent due to weaker demand in its markets in the United States and Greece. Net profit fell to 193.3 million euros ($279.3 million), while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) declined 7 percent to 341.8 million euros. Sales dropped 4 percent to 1.144 billion euros. (Reuters) Piraeus Bank net up Piraeus Bank, Greece’s fourth-largest lender, said yesterday nine-month net profit grew 50 percent year-on-year to 512.1 million euros, above market expectations, boosted by strong retail credit expansion and one-off capital gains. Piraeus Bank said group net interest income rose 28 percent in the same period to 642.1 million euros. (Reuters) NetMed sale mulled Naspers Ltd, Africa’s largest media company, is considering selling its Greek and Cypriot pay-television operator, NetMed NV.«Keen interest has been expressed from several potential investors,” Cape Town-based Naspers said in a statement to South Africa’s stock exchange today. (Bloomberg) Gazprom Turkey deal Russia’s gas export monopoly Gazprom has signed a contract to supply Turkey’s Avrasya Gaz with 500 million cubic meters of gas per year until 2021, Gazprom said yesterday. «Turkey is a very important partner for us. Russian gas exports to Turkey are growing every year,» Gazprom’s spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said in a statement. (Reuters) Hellenic Bank in Russia Hellenic Bank of Cyprus is opening a representative office in Saint Petersburg after receiving approval from the Central Bank of Russia, it said yesterday.