ECONOMY

In Brief

Emporiki Bank declares Q1 loss of 15.3 mln euros Emporiki Bank, majority-owned by France’s Credit Agricole, reported a first-quarter loss of 15.3 million euros yesterday, hurt by its bond portfolio and higher funding costs. Emporiki, Greece’s fifth-largest lender, said it lost 24 million euros in its bond portfolio, while intensifying competition to attract deposits exerted pressure on spreads. The bank, which had returned to profit last year, reported a 15.2 percent drop in loan-loss provisions versus the same three-month period in 2007. Emporiki said net interest income fell 12.2 percent year-on-year to 170.1 million euros. Mortgages grew 18.9 percent in the first quarter to 6.95 billion euros, with consumer loans expanding 24.6 percent to 3.06 billion. Based on its 2007-11 business plan, Emporiki is aiming to capture a market share of 11 percent. (Reuters) Coke bottler’s first-quarter profit seen up 11.4 pct Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, the world’s second-largest bottler of Coca-Cola drinks, is seen posting an 11.4 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on strong growth in developing and emerging markets. A Reuters poll of eight analysts produced an average net profit forecast of 28.30 million euros for the first quarter of the year from 25.4 million in 2007. Sales volume is seen up 7.3 percent to 431.76 million cases on double digit growth in developing and emerging markets, which account for just over half of total revenues. Analysts said the launch of low calorie Coke Zero in about 10 new markets in the first quarter of the year helped boost sales for carbonated soft drinks (CSDs). (Reuters) Ferry services Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis yesterday asked the Economy Ministry to fork out an additional 12 million euros to subsidize unprofitable island routes which private ferry operators have been reluctant to serve since deregulation of the industry a few years ago. Sources said the increment has been made necessary by the surging price of oil. IKEA Retailing group Fourlis expects to top 1 billion euros in turnover by 2013 from the operation of IKEA stores, for which it holds the franchise. The group plans to have 12 stores by then in Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria, from four today. Two are due to open soon in Ioannina and Larissa, plus an additional one in Bulgaria next year. Offshore Owners of offshore companies with real estate assets must file relevant statements with the tax office by May 20 and pay the special 3 percent tax. Documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by official translations.