ECONOMY

In Brief

OLTH invites bids for container terminal concession Thessaloniki Port Authority (OLTH), the operator of Greece’s second-biggest port, invited companies to bid on managing its container terminal as police broke up a workers’ rally against the plan. The state-controlled company’s management board approved the plan in a meeting yesterday, Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis said in a statement. Piraeus Port Authority, Greece’s biggest terminal, invited private companies on January 11 to take over part of its container operations. The Greek state, which owns 75 percent of both ports, seeks private partners to help finance expansion and improve cargo-handling capacity. The two proposals «open a great, new chapter and signify great progress toward modernizing Greek ports,» Voulgarakis said. (Bloomberg) Postal Savings seeks settlement with Citigroup The Postal Savings Bank is seeking an out-of-court settlement with Citigroup Inc over losses from a collateralized debt obligation bought from the US bank three years ago. Postal Savings sent a legal notice to the Greek unit of Citigroup Global Markets Limited, it said in a bourse filing. The letter is designed to reach an «out-of-court settlement,» the statement said, relating to a collateralized debt obligation acquired from Citigroup in 2005. The Greek lender has made a loss of about 29 million euros ($43 million) on the product, as of September 30, according to an executive. (Bloomberg) Sofia halts power exports Bulgaria has temporarily halted electricity exports to meet high domestic demand due to the freezing weather, the country’s energy minister said yesterday. «Currently, the national grid’s stability is not in danger,» Petar Dimitrov said. «You may simply assume that I am very cautious,» Lyubomir Velkov, CEO of the National Electricity Company, said all exports have been halted until the end of the week. Some restrictions will remain in place until March 31. Bulgaria, which helps supply Greece and Serbia, exports more than 7 million megawatt-hours of electricity per year. (AP) Turk economy slows Turkish economic growth last year slowed «significantly» because of a doubling in energy prices and after drought affected agricultural production, the country’s economy minister said yesterday. «Growth has slowed significantly in 2007,» Mehmet Simsek said in Dubai at an investors conference. «It is simply a number of supply side shocks; energy prices doubling and a drought.» Economic growth of between 4 percent and 4.5 percent would be «quite a strong performance,» Simsek said. (Reuters) Lottery sell-off Turkey’s government has asked Ernst & Young to start work on privatizing lottery company Milli Piyango in 2008, the head of the consultancy’s Turkish corporate finance arm, Musfik Cantekinler, said yesterday. The lottery, which has a broad distribution network, had turnover of 1.4 billion lira ($1.22 billion) in 2006, according to information on its website. (Reuters)