In Brief

Emporiki Bank nine-month profit falls on provisions Emporiki Bank, controlled by France’s Credit Agricole, said yesterday nine-month profit dropped 19 percent due to an increase in bad-loan provisions. Emporiki, Greece’s fifth-biggest bank, posted net income of 76.5 million euros ($111.8 million), compared with 94.2 million euros a year earlier, it said. The previous year’s figures were adjusted for the sale of Emporiki’s insurance unit, Phoenix. Provisions for bad loans climbed 36 percent to 164 million euros as Emporiki made changes to comply with Credit Agricole’s accounting practices. The results are «in line» with Credit Agricole’s plan to boost Emporiki’s profits by almost a third each year through 2011 by increasing lending and lowering costs, according to the statement. (Bloomberg) Unilever to absorb and de-list Elais Olive oil industry Elais, a virtual household name of the Greek food industry, is to be de-listed from the Athens bourse after 66 years, according to the absorption plan by parent company Unilever. The plan, part of the «One Unilever» program already applied in most other countries by the multinational group, also includes Knorr Bestfoods Hellas, Algida and Unilever Hellas, and is projected for implementation in the first half of 2008. The new company, proposed to be named Elais-Unilever, is estimated to have sales of 500 million euros, with four factories and 1,000 workers. Navios falls in market debut Shares of Greek merchant shipping firm Navios Maritime Partners LP fell yesterday, a day after an initial public offering that raised $200 million and priced in the middle of a forecast range. Shares were down 3.7 percent to $19.27 per share in early trading. On Monday, the offering of 10 million common units sold for $20 per share, compared with a forecast of $19 to $21. Concurrent with the public offering, Navios Chairman and Chief Executive Angeliki Frangou had agreed to buy 500,000 units at the public offering price. Serbia wants China tech Serbia urged China’s electronics and car industries yesterday to invest in the country to cut a $1.0 billion trade gap. «I have invited strong Chinese companies from the electronics industry and information technologies to invest in Serbia, build new plants to produce computers and TV sets,» said Economy Minister Mladjan Dinkic, who is on a visit to China. Serbia exported $3.6 million worth of goods to China in January-September this year. Imports from China stood at $927.6 million. (Reuters) Cosmote to appeal fine Cosmote, the mobile phone operator, will appeal a 1.7-million-euro fine imposed by an Albanian regulator. AMC, Cosmote’s Albanian unit, was fined for infringing competition rules in 2004 and 2005, according to a statement to the Athens bourse. AMC believes the decision is groundless and will seek to overturn it in the courts, the statement said. (Bloomberg)