ECONOMY

In Brief

Sidenor says turmoil delays JV plans Sidenor SA, Greece’s biggest steelmaker, said financial market turmoil delayed the completion of talks to set up a joint venture with Nucor Corp, the biggest US steel company by market value. Talks of a «friendly nature» are continuing, Athens-based Sidenor said in a bourse filing yesterday. «Both Sidenor and Nucor expect to conclude their discussions when the future outlook becomes clearer,» according to the filing. Nucor said in May it would buy 34 percent of a new company to be set up with Sidenor. The venture would produce and distribute long-steel products and operate in the Balkans, Turkey, Cyprus and North Africa, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Nucor said in a statement at the time. (Bloomberg) Piraeus Port to take a fifth of revenues Greece’s Piraeus Port facility, OLP, said yesterday it would receive more than a fifth of revenues from a new cargo handling company to be run by China’s Cosco, worth an estimated 3 billion euros over 35 years. OLP, which late on Wednesday approved the terms of a deal for Cosco to upgrade and run cargo port facilities for up to 35 years, said rental costs would push the guaranteed amount of the transaction to 3.4 billion euros. «OLP will receive 21 percent of the new company’s revenues for the first eight years and about 25 percent in the next years,» the company said in a statement. OLP, which expects to make a loss this year due to labor action by dock workers, has said the deal will return it to profit once Cosco enters Piraeus in 2009. Cosco is expected to pay OLP an initial 50 million euros in 2008. «This 50 million euros [in] revenues will be seen on the bottom line of 2009 results,» an OLP official, who declined to be named, told Reuters. (Reuters) Maroussi downgrade Ratings agency Moody’s downgraded yesterday the issuer rating of the Municipality of Maroussi, northern Athens, to Ba1 from Baa3. The rating remains under review for possible downgrade. «The rating action reflects ongoing uncertainties of the plan to refinance existing direct obligations of the city to regularize its debt service obligations, as current conditions in the financial markets remain difficult,» Moody’s said in a statement. Questions also remain regarding the ability of the city to attain its budgetary recovery plan in the coming years, the agency added. Turkish taxes Turkey plans to cut taxes on some telecommunications services, beginning with broadband services, government sources told Reuters yesterday. The special tax on broadband services will be reduced to 15 percent from 25 percent, the sources said. Turkey has some of the highest telecommunications taxes in the world. Turkey’s mobile operator market is made up of Avea, owned by Turk Telekom, Turkcell and Vodafone. The tax cuts are expected to be introduced with the new budget to take effect at the beginning of 2009. (Reuters) VW plans delayed The head of Turkish company Dogus Holding, Ferit Sahenk, yesterday said investment in Turkey by German carmaker Volkswagen would be delayed due to the global financial crisis. Sahenk told Reuters he had expected VW to invest in Turkey after changes in the German company’s ownership structure. Porsche has said it plans to up its stake in VW to a majority next month. (Reuters).