ECONOMY

In Brief

Motor Oil’s production unaffected by truckers’ action Motor Oil Hellas, Greece’s second- biggest refiner, said refinery operations haven’t been affected by a truckers’ strike that’s left gas stations across the country without fuel. Ample storage capacity is available and «a lot» of production from the company’s 120,000 barrel-a-day plant at Aghioi Theodoroi leaves the refinery by sea, officials said by e-mail. The truckers’ union is demanding increases in transportation fees to compensate for higher oil prices. Diesel prices have more than doubled in the past year, as global economic growth boosted crude to more than $125 a barrel. Oil prices have pushed Greek inflation to 4.4 percent, its highest level in six years. (Bloomberg) Merrill adds CTC, Turkcell to EEMEA most preferred list Merrill Lynch added Russia’s CTC Media, Turkey’s Turkcell and Israel’s Partner Communications to its Eastern Europe, Middle East and, Africa telecom and media most preferred list, and said this list is intended to appeal to investors with a short-term view. The brokerage said CTC Media remains its top pick among emerging European free-to-air broadcasters due to its exposure to the fastest growing advertising market in the world – Russia. Israel’s second-largest mobile phone operator Partner Communications should benefit from an ongoing share buyback and an increasing revenue share, the brokerage added in a note to clients. The company has strength in the post paid market, it said. (Reuters) Please, borrow more… Greek households do not face serious and widespread problems in paying back loans, National Bank President Takis Arapoglou said yesterday, citing a Hellenic Bank Association report which is to be released in the coming weeks. «Compared to the other eurozone countries, Greece still has a low borrowing ratio in relation to GDP and a large potential margin for further growth in retail lending,» he said. Defense exhibition The defense, security, technology and civil aviation exhibition Athens International 2008 will take place at Athens Airport May 15-18, and will include a static aircraft display. A conference will be held on Friday, discussing transparency in military procurement, and the development and financial dimensions of defense technology. Bourse Q1 net drops Hellenic Exchanges, the operator of the Athens stock and futures markets, said yesterday first-quarter net profit fell 23 percent to 18.4 million euros on lower volumes and fee income. The operator said group revenues fell 21 percent to 32.8 million euros. (Reuters) HELPE profit up Hellenic Petroleum, Greece’s largest refiner, said yesterday first-quarter net profit rose 77 percent year-on-year, boosted by higher oil prices. Net profit came in at 97 million euros on sales of 2.5 billion euros, up 35 percent. (Reuters)