ECONOMY

In Brief

Greek inflation rate rises to 14-month high on oil Greece’s inflation rate rose in October to the highest in 14 months on fuel-price increases. The country’s annual consumer price inflation accelerated to 3.1 percent in October from 2.9 percent the previous month, the National Statistics Service said today in a statement handed out to reporters in Athens. That’s its highest level since August 2006. Gasoline prices contributed most to the increase, rising 13 percent from the previous year, according to the statement. Rising oil prices weigh more on inflation in Greece than in the rest of the euro area because the country is more dependent on oil products to cover its transport and energy needs. Under a harmonized European Union measure, inflation accelerated to an annual 3 percent from 2.9 percent in September, the statement said. That’s the highest since February. (Bloomberg) PPC labor union calls off 48-hour strike The labor union of the Public Power Corporation (PPC) yesterday called off a strike scheduled for November 12 and 13, saying that management appeared to have frozen plans to carve up the corporation into six entities and shelved the creation of new plants that it intended to hand over to private enterprise. Earlier, union activists had staged a temporary «token» occupation of the office of the corporation’s CEO, Takis Athanassopoulos. The union demanded that of the 3,200 megawatts of new capacity that PPC plans to create, at least 800 MW should be realized without the closure of old units. Management said talks with the union on the optimization of the corporation’s structure and productive potential had proved fruitful and that the occupation of the CEO’s office appeared meaningless. European Goldfields European Goldfields Ltd, the Canadian owner of the Stratoni mine in Halkidiki, said third-quarter profit jumped more than eightfold after it extracted more lead and silver and sales of stockpiled ore increased. Net income climbed to $12.16 million, or 7 cents a share, from $1.48 million, or 1 cent, a year earlier, the Whitehorse, Yukon-based company said in a statement. Sales rose 42 percent to $21.7 million. European Goldfields said its processing of ore from Stratoni, which opened in 2005, was more efficient in the quarter. Silver production gained 57 percent to 297,321 ounces while lead output climbed 55 percent to 3,759 tons. Zinc production halved to 2,364 tons. Sales of stockpiled gold ore from the Olympias project almost doubled. (Bloomberg) Bank of Cyprus Bank of Cyprus said yesterday nine-month net profit rose 66 percent to 370 million euros ($542 million), bolstered by growth in lending. Net interest income came in at 556 million euros, an increase of 26 percent. The bank also raised its full-year 2007 profit target to 486 million euros from 415 million. The bank, Cyprus’s largest lender, said it will pay an interim dividend per share of 0.11 Cyprus pounds. BoC reported a strong increase in loans and deposits. In Cyprus, the bank said its profit after tax rose 71 percent to 293 million euros, while after-tax earnings in Greece rose 60 percent to 70 million euros. (Reuters)