ECONOMY

In Brief

Turkey now sees no need for seventh Nabucco partner ANKARA (Reuters) – The six-nation natural gas pipeline project Nabucco is «crowded enough» and there is no need at present to discuss a seventh partner, the head of Turkey’s state gas pipeline company Botas said yesterday. Gaz de France said earlier in the day that it was still ready to join if the consortium behind the Nabucco pipeline, which is designed to help Europe diversify its gas imports away from Russia, backed its participation. Turkey has blocked the involvement of Gaz de France because of the French National Assembly’s approval of a bill making it a crime to deny that Armenians suffered a genocide at the hands of Ottoman Turks during World War I. The project aims to carry natural gas from the Caspian basin via Turkey and the Balkans to Central Europe. Romania plans to float Romtelecom minority stake BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania plans to float at least 10 percent of leading land-line telephone operator Romtelecom, majority-owned by Greece’s OTE, this year, the government said yesterday. The float was scheduled for 2006 but has been repeatedly delayed after recent selloffs came under the spotlight on suspicion of commercial espionage. «We wish that this year, this fall, to successfully finalize the listing procedure on the bourse,» Telecoms Minister Karoly Borbely said in a statement. The Cabinet said the procedure will take around eight months to complete and that the planned stake on float could be raised. The government, which holds a 46 percent stake in the company, said the procedure to select a consultant to advise on the sale will be relaunched. OTE sells Cypriot assets Cyprus Trading Corporation (CTC) said it had signed an agreement to buy stakes in Greek telecom group OTE’s subsidiaries OTEnet (Cyprus) and OTEnet Telecommunications. CTC will pay 3.99 million euros, the company said in an announcement. After the transaction, which is subject to approval by Cyprus’s competition commission, CTC will raise its stake from 20 percent to 100 percent in OTEnet (Cyprus) and will control 87.25 percent of OTEnet Telecommunications. (Reuters) Turkish lira boost The Turkish lira rallied more than one percent against the dollar yesterday on the back of weak US data, while bonds and shares also gained as investors put domestic concerns aside. The lira closed 0.6 percent stronger at at 1.1850 against the dollar from the previous day’s close at 1.1925 on the interbank market. It touched 1.1785 earlier on the day. Istanbul’s main share index rose 1.6 percent to 46,260 points, extending a gain of 1.4 percent a day earlier, just outperforming a 1.4 percent rise in the MSCI emerging market stocks index. (Reuters) Bank of Cyprus Bank of Cyprus said yesterday full-year 2007 group net profits rose 55 percent to 485 million euros. Net interest income grew 23 percent to 752 million euros. The bank said its board will propose a total dividend per share of 0.44 euros for 2007. (Reuters)