ECONOMY

In Brief

DS bid for stake in AEGEK may fail, banks deny support A bid by DS Constructions Ltd, an Indian construction company, to buy a 22 percent stake in Greek builder AEGEK may collapse after banks withdrew their support. AEGEK shares fell the most in three years yesterday. Alpha Bank and Piraeus Bank consider their October agreement with AEGEK and DS Constructions has «lapsed» because the Indian company «hasn’t lived up to its obligations,» AEGEK said in a bourse filing yesterday. In November, AEGEK announced that DS Constructions would spend 30 million euros to buy new shares as part of a settlement between AEGEK and creditor banks to reduce its debt. The Greek company said yesterday it will «proceed with appropriate action.» (Bloomberg) Geniki Bank posts 43.6-mln-euro 2007 loss Geniki Bank reported yesterday a group net loss of 43.6 million euros in 2007 on loan-loss provisions. The bank said loan-loss provisions in 2007 were 40 million euros from 72.1 million euros a year earlier, when the bank adopted stricter credit risk assessment criteria on retail loans. Geniki was taken over by Societe Generale in 2004 and is being restructured to compete with Greek heavyweight banks. It completed a rights issue in November, raising 210 million euros to fund expansion and boost its capital adequacy. Geniki said its loan portfolio reached 3.3 billion euros in 2007, from 2.94 billion in 2006. Total deposits rose 4.6 percent to 2.8 billion euros. (Reuters) Minoan profits fall Minoan Lines, Greece’s second-biggest ferry operator, said profits fell 24 percent last year as oil prices surged. Net income dropped to 16.4 million euros from 21.6 million in 2006. Sales fell 5.3 percent to 195.9 million euros from 206.9 million euros in 2006, the company said yesterday in an Athens bourse filing. Minoan Lines plans to pay a dividend of 5 cents a share, compared with 13.5 cents a share the year before. (Bloomberg) Piraeus-Sciens Piraeus Bank agreed to sell a stake in a casino to a fund for 67.6 million euros. Piraeus agreed to sell a 9.4 percent stake of Casino Loutraki, near Athens, to investment company Sciens International Investments & Holdings SA, Sciens said today in an e-mailed statement. The deal is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, according to the statement. (Bloomberg) OLP earnings. Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) said profits more than doubled last year as sales increased. Net income rose to 24.8 million euros in 2007 from 12.2 million euros a year earlier, according to a financial statement posted on the company’s website. Sales increased 19 percent to 171.3 million euros. The company will pay a dividend of 33 cents a share on the earnings, double the 16 cents it paid in 2006. (Bloomberg)