ECONOMY

In Brief

OTE says shareholder RBS has sheds most of its stake OTE telecom said yesterday shareholder Royal Bank of Scotland has sold most of its stake in the group, a week after Deutsche Telekom (DT) closed a strategic partnership deal with the telecom company. «RBS’s holding in OTE stands at 0.2 percent, following a disposal of voting rights on May 15,» OTE said in a bourse filing. «Before the transaction, RBS held 9.34 percent of the total voting rights, or 45.8 million shares.» Last week, DT agreed to buy 25 percent in state-controlled OTE for 3.2 billion euros ($5 billion) after weeks of negotiations. Greece agreed to sell a 3 percent stake for 442.3 million euros. The deal, which gives both sides stakes of 25 percent plus one share in OTE, will require Greek parliamentary approval. (Reuters) Electrabel confirms interest in Bulgaria nuke plant SOFIA (Reuters) – Belgian energy firm Electrabel, owned by France’s Suez, confirmed its interest in winning a 49 percent stake in Bulgaria’s Belene nuclear power plant project, a company official said yesterday. «We have confirmed our interest. We are willing to make all kinds of effort to have this project proceed swiftly,» said Jean-Claude Dorcimont, vice president for central Europe of Suez Energy Europe after meeting with Bulgaria’s energy minister. Dorcimont said he hoped Bulgarian power utility NEK, which will keep the majority stake, will pick a strategic investor for the 4-billion-euro ($6.26 billion) plant «as soon as possible.» Sotheby’s operations Sotheby’s International Realty has teamed up with a Greek partner, launching services in the local property market as it eyes solid growth in high-end residential real estate. Via a franchise agreement with Regency Real Estate, a subsidiary of First Mediterranean Investments (FMI), the two companies have opened a branch in Athens which they aim to build into a three-office network across Greece in the next two years. «The Greek market has been supported by very little international quality real estate services that properly address the needs of clients who are seeking buyers of real estate available,» said George Koukouzelis, CEO of FMI. New HSBC-Greece CEO Simon Jukes will be the new chief executive at HSBC-Greece, taking over from Matthew Bosrock, the bank said yesterday. Jukes previously worked for HSBC in London, where he was in charge of strategy in the areas of transaction banking and operations for the group’s chief operating officer. «As regards retail banking, Greece remains a priority country for the group,» Jukes said in a statement. (Reuters) EYATH State-controlled Thessaloniki Water & Sewage (EYATH), Greece’s second-biggest water utility, has decided to expand into the bottled-water business. (Bloomberg)