ECONOMY

In Brief

Athens-Cyprus-Israeli stock market index gets a revamp NICOSIA (Reuters) – Eight companies were replaced in a review of the FTSE/Med 100 index, which tracks companies listed on the Athens, Israeli and Cyprus bourses, the stock exchanges said yesterday. Newcomers were Greek listings Marfin Investment Group, medical center Hygeia and the Piraeus Port Authority. Israel’s Perrigo, Cellcom Israel, Oil Refineries and Scailex Corp Ltd and Cyprus’s Woolworth (Cyprus) Properties were also included. They replace Athens-listed Heracles Cement, Iaso, S&B Industrial Minerals, Lamda Development, Halkor, Michaniki and Proton Bank, as well as Cyprus’s Louis Plc. The revamp is part of a biannual review and will go into effect November 24. Separately, the Cyprus bourse said the FTSE/CySE 20 index of local blue chip shares had been reviewed to include Woolworth Properties. Local brewer Keo was removed from the index. The changes will take effect on December 1. Domestic credit expansion eases but beats expectations Greece’s total credit expansion accelerated to a 17.5 percent annual pace in August from 17.1 percent in July, Bank of Greece provisional data showed yesterday. But lending to households, including mortgages and consumer credit, slowed to a 17.0 percent annual clip in August from 17.8 percent in July. Robust household borrowing, which has fed bank profits in the last years, is growing at a slower pace. «The headline figure appears to be above market expectations but some cautiousness remains with regard to the evolution of credit growth in view of the deepening credit crunch in the period of September-October,» said Platon Monokroussos, economist at EFG Eurobank. (Reuters) Telecom profit Deutsche Telekom AG, Europe’s largest telephone company, forecast stable earnings next year after posting a surprise increase in third-quarter profit due to lower write-downs, restructuring costs and taxes. Chief Executive Officer Rene Obermann confirmed the full-year business outlook and said adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will remain at least stable in 2009, according to a company statement yesterday. Obermann has stepped up cost-cutting efforts. On Wednesday, Deutsche Telekom said 6,300 employees at the T-Systems computer-services unit will be moved to the fixed-line division. In August, the Bonn-based company said it will close call centers in 39 German cities. Earnings at the domestic fixed-line business and T-Systems dropped in the third quarter. (Bloomberg) Loan growth slows Akbank TAS, Turkey’s biggest bank by market value, said net income declined from a year earlier as loan growth slowed. Akbank had a profit of 348 million lira ($227 million) in the period. The figure was calculated by subtracting six-month profits from nine-month net income of 1.547 billion lira which the Istanbul-based bank reported in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Akbank was forecast to earn 390 million lira, according to the average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The lender had a profit of 416.8 million lira in the third quarter of 2007. (Bloomberg)