ECONOMY

In Brief

Korres says it has not been affected by crisis Korres Natural Products SA, the Greek cosmetics-maker whose yogurt and pomegranate moisturizers are sold in luxury stores including Harrods in London, said it remains unscathed by the global financial crisis. «It’s not that markets are not being tried,» Chief Executive Officer Georgios Korres said on October 24 in an interview at the company’s factory in Viotia, north of Athens, where 80 percent of its products are made. «It’s our small size and our stage of expansion that is working as an advantage.» Even if sales growth slows, Korres will at least maintain its profit margins at current levels and the company isn’t feeling a recession «in any kind of way,» the executive said. The net profit margin was 10.2 percent for the six months ended June 30. Korres, who created the eponymous line of moisturizers, hair-care products and bath foams at his pharmacy in the Athens neighborhood of Pangrati in the 1980s, works with about 3,000 different plants to make cosmetics and herbal remedies. (Bloomberg) Cyprus works on contingency package NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus yesterday said it was working on a financial contingency package that it would implement if hit by global financial turmoil. The Mediterranean island, a eurozone member since January 1 2008, has been largely buffered from a meltdown on markets worldwide because of an insular retail-based banking system. But there are underlying concerns that tourism, footing about 13 percent of its GDP, could be affected if turmoil persists. Most of its holidaymakers are British, with an 11.6 percent plunge in arrivals from the UK in September. «Cyprus is in a considerably better position compared to other countries and has not, essentially, been affected by the crisis,» said government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou. «The government is working on an action plan which would deal with any problems which may arise if the crisis continues,» the Cypriot official said after a ministerial meeting chaired by President Dimitris Christofias. He said it would be ready in about 10 days’ time. Cypriot homes Home prices in Cyprus grew 1.5 percent quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter of 2008, a private property tracker said yesterday. The BuySell index said the average home price was 193,323 euros in September, based on the prices at which residential properties were sold on the island. There was a 0.4 decline in sale prices in the first month of the third quarter and a 1.0 percent increase each month in August and September. Home prices retreated 0.4 percent quarter-on-quarter in Q2. The year-to-date increase in prices at the end of September was 4.4 percent, BuySell said. (Reuters) Pipeline talks OAO Gazprom held talks with Romania as Russia’s largest energy producer looks for new partners in a natural gas pipeline to the European Union. Gazprom’s head of strategy Vlada Rusakova took part in discussions with Transgaz SA and Romgaz SA yesterday on cooperation with Gazprom’s South Stream pipeline, the Moscow-based company said in an e-mailed statement. Gazprom, which plans to build South Stream under the Black Sea to Bulgaria, is seeking partners in the Balkans for the overland part of the pipeline. (Bloomberg)