In Brief

Hellenic Petroleum and FYROM reach final agreement on refinery Greece’s largest refiner Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) said yesterday it will receive $40 million from the government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as part of a settlement for the operations of its subsidiary in the country. Last year, the International Court of Arbitration awarded ELPE’s Balkan subsidiary $50 million in compensation after it said FYROM violated an agreement to limit petrol product imports from ELPE’s rivals for five years. «After a period of negotiations… a compromise solution was reached that satisfies both parties,» ELPE said in a statement. «(FYROM) will immediately pay 80 percent of the court’s decision.» As part of an initial 1999 agreement, when ELPE bought the state-run Okta refinery, FYROM was obliged to import 500,000 tons of crude oil from Okta each year. The court ruled in August last year that FYROM broke that agreement by importing crude from other companies in 2003 and imposed the fine as compensation. (Reuters) Greece’s December PMI drops to 11-month low Growth in Greece’s manufacturing sector slowed in December with the purchasing managers index (PMI) dropping to an 11-month low of 52.7 from 54.3 in November, a monthly survey of around 300 companies showed yesterday. The 50 mark separates contraction from growth. The PMI provides a snapshot of operating conditions in manufacturing. Despite Greek manufacturers expanding production at the slowest rate since January, output growth was solid, which firms linked to a further rise in incoming new business, NTC Research said. «The deceleration in Greece’s PMI is in line with trends evident in other eurozone economies. It reflects, among other factors, the adverse impact of a higher euro on Greek export orders,» said Eurobank’s Platon Monokroussos. (Reuters) Turk exports rise Turkish exports rose 7.68 percent year-on-year to $9.422 billion in December, the Turkish Exporters’ Association (TIM) said yesterday. The December figure put 2007 exports at $105.93 billion, 23.49 percent higher year-on-year. The TIM figures come almost a month ahead of official figures, which they tend to match. The strongest export performances in December came from the automotive and clothing sectors. (Reuters) Istanbul stocks fall Turkish stocks fell 1.5 percent yesterday, underperforming other emerging markets, while the high-yielding lira was broadly flat after chalking up gains of more than 20 percent last year. The main stock index fell 1.5 percent to 54,708.4 points, while emerging market stocks overall fell just 0.6 percent. The lira closed at 1.1660 to the dollar on the interbank market, broadly flat to Monday’s close of 1.1675. (Reuters) Cyprus CPI spikes Higher fuel prices pushed Cyprus’s consumer inflation to a year-high of 3.9 percent year on year in December after a November reading of 3.5 percent, the statistics department said. For the whole year, the CPI index rose by 2.4 percent, down from 2.5 percent in 2006, it said. (Reuters)