ECONOMY

In Brief

DryShips realizes $36.3 mln gain on Panamax-class trade DryShips Inc said it has bought a newer Panamax-class vessel, sold an older ship and would realize a $36.3 million gain on the swap. DryShips, based in Athens, purchased the ship, built in 2000, for $72 million from an unidentified seller. The vessel will be delivered in the second quarter, DryShips said yesterday in a statement. The company sold its MV Lanzarote, built in 1996, for $65 million. Newer ships tend to win higher shipping rates. A Panamax-class vessel is the largest ship that is able to pass through the Panama Canal. The two ships can each carry about 73,000 deadweight tons. CEO George Economou said in the statement that he expects the newer ship to earn about 10 percent more than the Lanzarote. (Bloomberg) Troubled Olympic Airlines to lease two planes Greece’s ailing state carrier Olympic Airlines said yesterday it will lease two Boeing 737-400 planes ahead of the busy summer season to replace two other aircraft. «The agreement with (US-based firm Sundown Alexandria) foresees the leasing of two aircraft for 24 months for a monthly fee of $209,000 each,» Olympic said in a statement. It said it was also extending the dry lease (a lease without insurance, crew or maintenance) of another Boeing 737-400 for an additional four years. «The search for the lease of more aircraft is ongoing as we seek to better cover the needs of our summer schedule,» it said. (Reuters) PPC wins case Public Power Corporation (PPC), Greece’s biggest power producer, said it has been allowed to cancel a contract to sell electricity to aluminium smelter Aluminium of Greece at a reduced rate. An Athens court reversed an earlier court decision yesterday that barred Public Power from unilaterally changing the contract, Athens-based PPC said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. (Bloomberg) Cyprus credit growth Credit in Cyprus expanded by an annual 35.2 percent pace in January, accelerating from 32.5 percent in December, the island’s central bank said yesterday. Total credit to households and businesses reached 40.4 billion euros from 39.4 billion euros in December. Credit expansion was driven mainly by loans to businesses which rose 29.9 percent year-on-year and home loans to households, up 28.6 percent year-on-year. (Reuters) Romania rates Romanian interest rates will converge toward European levels in two to three years, central bank Governor Mugur Isarescu said yesterday. «I forecast that in two-three years there will not be significant differences between rates in Romania and rates in the European region,» Isarescu said in a speech. The Romanian central bank’s benchmark rate stands at 9.0 percent while the European Central Bank’s key rate is 4.0 percent. (Reuters) E.ON, Turcas get license E.ON AG, Germany’s biggest utility, and its Turkish partner Turcas Petrolculuk AS got a license to build a gas-fired power plant in the western Turkish city of Denizli. Turkey’s energy regulator awarded E.ON and Turcas a license to build the plant with a capacity of 840 megawatts, Turcas said in a filing with the Istanbul Stock Exchange yesterday. E.ON holds 70 percent of the venture and Turcas has 30 percent. (Bloomberg)