ECONOMY

In Brief

Coca-Cola HBC confident on revised 2008 targets Greece’s Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company is confident it will meet its revised 2008 targets, the group’s chief executive said yesterday. «We have submitted our revised targets and the entire management team believes these targets are achievable,» Coca-Cola HBC CEO Doros Constantinou told shareholders. He said the reason the company had lowered its full-year targets were seasonal and were not expected to affect the second half of the year, thanks to the group’s geographical and product diversification. The world’s second-largest bottler of Coca-Cola drinks last week cut its full-year guidance, citing poor weather and adverse consumer sentiment in some markets along with rising costs due to soaring oil prices. The bottler lowered its forecast for earnings per share for 2008 to between 1.37 euros and 1.40 euros, a 5 to 8 percent rise year-on-year, down from previous guidance of 1.46 to 1.49 euros. (Reuters) Piraeus Port expects to contain Q2 losses Greece’s largest port of Piraeus (OLP) expects to contain losses in the second quarter but if labor action persists full-year results will be in the red, its chief executive said yesterday. «OLP will report limited losses for the second quarter. If workers continue with strike action, yearly results will be negative,» OLP’s CEO Nikos Anastassopoulos told Reuters in an interview. «For the second quarter, we expect turnover to decline by about 30-35 percent from a year ago,» he said. The Piraeus port has seen shipping containers pile up as dockers have refused to work overtime since January, staging repeated 24-hour strikes in opposition at the government’s move to privatize OLP’s cargo operations. (Reuters) Romanian bank hike Romania’s central bank is likely to raise its benchmark rate by a quarter of a percentage point on Thursday but then pause the tightening cycle as it bets on inflation easing later this year, a Reuters poll showed. Recent signs that the economy is growing faster than forecast as well as expectations of a pending hike in domestic energy costs in July have cemented market expectations of this week’s rate hike, the bank’s sixth in a row. However, analysts argue that central bankers are likely to become more cautious from now on to take advantage of statistical base effects, which are likely to lower inflation in the second half of the year, to ease any pressure on the economy. Ten of the 14 analysts surveyed by Reuters last week see a quarter point rise to 10.0 percent on Thursday, after five hikes in a row since October, to a total of 275 basis points. (Reuters) Turk power rates Turkey’s state-owned electricity distributor, TEDAS, has applied for a 22.9 percent electricity price hike on consumers, a source from the regulatory body told Reuters yesterday. The source said the decision from energy regulator EPDK on the price hike is expected on Thursday. The regulator has also approved a 12.7 percent wholesale electricity price hike requested by state-owned electricity provider TETAS, which will go into effect on July 1, the source said. Rises in energy prices have been a major component in Turkey’s double-digit inflation, while further price hikes on natural gas are expected to squeeze residential and industrial consumers further.