ECONOMY

In Brief

Hatzidakis: Olympic Airlines’ woes to be resolved by end of year The solution to the problem of Olympic Airlines will come within 2008, said Transport Minister Costis Hatzidakis, adding that the government is in open communication with the European Commission to find a universally accepted solution. The Inner Cabinet meeting yesterday also discussed the possibility of reconstructing certain regional airports through public-private partnerships, as well as the streamlining of the finances of the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE). Hatzidakis stressed that the railways should not turn into a second Olympic (the accumulated deficit of OSE currently reaches 7.5 billion euros), while its property must be better utilized. Coastal shipping fares to rise by 8 percent on regulated routes Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis announced an 8 percent increase in fares on regulated coastal shipping routes, those subsidized by the state and those where fare liberalization does not apply for lack of competition. The increase, based on inflation, will be effective from May 1 and is the first hike since May 27, 2005, when it was 6.8 percent. From now on fares will be adjusted every year on May 1, based on the consumer price index of the previous January-December period, the minister has decided. Turkish 2007 growth Turkey’s gross domestic product is expected to grow 5 percent in 2007 following a calculation revision, a high-level government official said yesterday. Turkey announced a huge upward revision of its national income earlier this month, with official data showing 2006 gross domestic product revised up 31.6 percent to 758.4 billion lira ($526 billion). Deputy Prime Minister Nazim Ekren said in a speech that 2007 GDP is seen at $650 billion. Ekren added that Turkey’s economy was stronger and more secure than it had been previously, despite global turbulence. (Reuters) Tsakos Energy Greece’s Tsakos Energy Navigation posted lower fourth-quarter profit as a decline in the value of the US dollar against the euro pushed up its expenses, and offset an increase in revenue from higher charter rates and an expanded fleet. The company, which transports oil and gas, reported net income of $52.2 million, or $1.36 a share for the quarter, including a gain of $30.8 million from the sale of a vessel. It earned $77.1 million, or $2.02 a share, a year earlier. (Reuters) NBG dividend National Bank said yesterday its board will propose a dividend per share of 1.40 euros for 2007, up 40 percent on a year earlier. NBG, which grew net profit by 70 percent last year, paid out a dividend per share of 1 euro in 2006. This year’s dividend translates to a yield of 4.16 percent based on yesterday’s closing price of 33.66 euros. (Reuters)