ECONOMY

In Brief

Metka and GE JV preferred bidder for Romania plant Greek construction company Metka and its joint venture partner General Electric made the lowest bid to build a power station in Romania, the Greek company said yesterday. «The GE-Metka joint venture was named the preferred bidder to build the station,» Metka said in an Athens bourse filing. «Negotiations to reach a final agreement will begin tomorrow and are expected to last three weeks.» The 50-50 joint venture was among bidders that also included Siemens, Alstom and Mitsubishi to build an 850-megawatt plant for Austrian OMV’s Petrom unit near the Romanian oil town of Ploesti. No further details can be given while negotiations are under way, Metka said. Metka, a subsidiary of Greek metals and engineering group Mytilineos, recently won a deal to build a 427-megawatt natural gas-powered plant for Greek electricity utility Public Power Corporation. (Reuters) Societe Generale’s Geniki Bank ‘is not for sale’ Geniki Bank, majority-owned by France’s Societe Generale, is not for sale, the Greek lender’s chief executive said yesterday, dismissing recent rumors that the French group may pull out of Greece. «We are not going to leave, Societe is here to stay,» said Geniki’s CEO Patrick Couste during a briefing with reporters. Geniki was taken over by SocGen in 2004 and is being restructured to compete with Greek heavyweight banks. Couste dismissed market rumors that shipping interests were looking to buy Geniki and said a recent move by Marfin Investment Group (MIG) to acquire a stake of below 3 percent was simply an investment position. Geniki completed a 9-for-10 rights issue in November, raising 210 million euros ($307 million) to fund expansion and boost its capital adequacy. The bank’s network has expanded by 36 branches since it was bought by SocGen, now numbering 141. (Reuters) Quintana Quintana Maritime Ltd, which put itself up for sale in October, said it will remain an independent company after deciding no potential offer was financially attractive. Declining rates to ship commodities, falling share prices and tightening credit markets contributed to the decision, the Glyfada, Greece-based company said today in a statement. Earlier this month, the TradeWinds newspaper said the company accepted a $27-a-share offer from rival Greek commodities-shipper Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. Quintana fell 49 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $15.16 in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading. The stock has fallen 34 percent this year. (Bloomberg) William Hill Greek gaming monopoly OPAP is not considering a bid for UK bookmaker William Hill, the OPAP CEO said yesterday, dismissing market rumors. «A bid by OPAP for William Hill is not under consideration,» OPAP’s CEO Christos Hadjiemmanuil told Reuters. (Reuters) AIA contract Celebi Hava Servisi, a Turkish airport-services provider, failed to win a contract to operate ground handling at Athens International Airport, the Istanbul-based company said in a stock exchange filing yesterday. (Bloomberg)