ECONOMY

In Brief

Elefsina refinery’s temporary closure postponed until September Hellenic Petroleum, Greece’s biggest oil company, has delayed the planned maintenance shutdown of its Elefsina refinery until September, a company spokesman said. The maintenance work will last about three weeks, spokesman Evangelos Stranis said in a telephone interview yesterday. The shutdown had previously been scheduled for a 15-day period in the first quarter, then was postponed until the second quarter. Stranis declined to provide further details. The Elefsina refinery can process 100,000 barrels of oil a day and mainly produces fuel oil, he said. (Bloomberg) Hellenic Bank first-quarter net profit slips 6 percent NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus’s Hellenic Bank said it posted a 6 percent drop in first-quarter net attributable profit to 22.98 million euros. It said net interest income rose 8 percent to 52.27 million euros. Total net income was down 2 percent to 70.15 million euros, it said. «The results of the first quarter are seen as satisfactory, particularly in view of the difficult conditions in the market climate in the first quarter,» it said in a statement. Net interest income grew on the back of a 25 percent increase in the balance of loans and a 13 percent increase in customer deposits on an annualized basis. Bulgaria money laundering Bulgaria’s national security agency said yesterday it had cracked down on an international money-laundering ring, freezing some 3.5 million euros and $8 million in several Bulgarian banks. Two foreigners, the suspected masterminds, had been arrested in Bulgaria, while other arrests and searches had been carried out abroad, including in other European Union countries, as part of an international operation, the agency said. The nationality of those detained was not identified. (Reuters) Romanian N-plants Romania is eyeing construction of a new nuclear plant with capacity of between 2,000 and 2,400 megawatts, whose first unit could come on line after 2020, the head of the state nuclear operator Nuclearelectrica said yesterday. It operates Romania’s only nuclear power station in Cernavoda, where the first of two 706 MW units went on stream in 1996. Two more reactors at the same site are planned by 2014 and 2015, and Nuclearelectrica would like more. (Reuters) Visitors to Turkey The number of foreign visitors to Turkey rose 8.35 percent year-on-year in April to 1.648 million, the Tourism Ministry said yesterday. In March, the number of foreign visitors had been up 18.67 percent from a year earlier. Sector officials expect the number of foreign tourists to rise 12 percent this year. (Reuters)