In Brief

GDP growth seen slowing to 3.4 percent in Q1 Greece’s economy is expected to have grown at a 3.4 percent annual pace in the first quarter of 2008, slowing from a 3.6 percent clip in the last quarter of 2007, a Reuters survey of economists showed yesterday. But global economy woes are catching up with Greece, with economists saying private consumption is starting to look softer as inflation bites. «Economic growth is expected to decelerate further to 3.3 percent year-on-year in Q1, reflecting the slowing of domestic demand growth to its lowest level since the second quarter of 2005,» said economist Nick Magginas at National Bank. Economists estimate growth will average out at 3.5 percent this year. (Reuters) Government bond trade volume rises in April The volume of Greek government debt traded on the central bank’s electronic system (HDAT) rose to 17.68 billion euros in April from 8.62 billion in March, the Bank of Greece said yesterday. Daily average turnover in April grew to 884 million euros from 453 million in the previous month. Greek government bond yields rose in April, particularly at the short end of the yield curve, in line with the performance seen in the rest of the eurozone. In Greece, the most actively traded bond was the 10-year benchmark which recorded 8.7 billion euros’ worth of transactions. Investors showed particular interest in bonds with remaining maturity between seven and 10 years, which absorbed 49 percent of overall volume. (Reuters) Intracom Syrian deal Greek telecoms equipment maker Intracom Telecom said yesterday it signed a 40-million-euro ($61.82 million) contract to supply the Syrian Wireless Organization (SWO) with a wireless communications network. The project, to be completed in 22 months, will provide a wireless network to public institutions with emergency and disaster communications. Intracom Telecom is 51 percent held by Russian high-tech firm Sitronics with the remaining 49 percent owned by Intracom Holdings. «This project establishes a key strategic partnership with SWO, further leveraging our potential in the region,» said Intracom Telecom Managing Director Alexandros Manos in a statement. (Reuters) Korres Korres Natural Products SA, a Greek maker of cosmetics, said first-quarter profit rose 10 percent after sales of cosmetics and creams surged. Net income rose to 1.5 million euros ($2.3 million) from 1.4 million euros in the year-ago period, according to a company filing with the Athens bourse today. Sales gained 32 percent to 11.3 million euros, the Athens-based company said. (Bloomberg) Otosan Ford Otosan, a Turkey-based joint venture of Turkish conglomerate Koc Holding and Ford Motor Co, plans to increase output to 360,000 units in 2009, it said yesterday. In 2008 the car maker plans to raise output to 330,000 vehicles, helped by investment of around $115 million, it said in a short statement to the stock market. (Reuters)