In Brief

Work on trans-Balkan pipeline may be delayed Work on a $900 million pipeline to bring Russian oil to Greece via Bulgaria may be delayed until late 2009 and will come on stream at least 18 months later, the chief executive of Trans-Balkan Pipeline said yesterday. Greece, Bulgaria and Russia signed a deal last year on building the Burgas-to-Alexandroupolis pipeline, which aims to bypass the traffic-clogged Turkish Bosporus Straits, and early this year formed Trans-Balkan Pipeline to build and operate the pipeline. «If we are speaking optimistically, then it will be September, October or November next year. If we are looking at a negative scenario, then there will be some delays, but we cannot predict that now,» Alexander Tarakanov told Reuters in an interview. «Beginning construction depends on a lot of factors, and the general estimate of finishing the study for the project is scheduled to end in the middle of summer (2009),» he said. Russia’s Transneft, Gazprom Nef and Rosneft consortium together own a 51 percent stake in Trans-Balkan. (Reuters) Aegean Airlines profits fall due to fuel costs Aegean Airlines SA, Greece’s second-biggest airline, said profit in the first nine months of the year fell 21 percent as fuel costs rose. Net income declined to 26.5 million euros ($33.5 million) from 33.4 million euros a year earlier, according to an e-mailed statement received from the Athens-based company yesterday. Sales increased 26 percent to 468.2 million euros, as the number of passengers it transported rose 13 percent to 4.6 million euros. (Bloomberg) Interim dividend Motor Oil Hellas SA, Greece’s second largest refiner, will pay a 20 euro-cent interim dividend after reporting higher nine-month profit. The proposed dividend will be subject to a 10 percent tax recently announced by the government, according to an Athens bourse filing yesterday. The refiner said on Monday net income rose 12 percent to 133.2 million euros ($171 million), beating the 124.6 million-euro median estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. (Bloomberg) Refinery estimates. Hellenic Petroleum SA, Greece’s largest refiner, may report a 73 percent drop in third-quarter profit as the value of fuel inventories declined. Net income probably fell to 22.4 million euros ($28.6 million) from 84 million euros a year earlier, according to the median estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization may have slipped 56 percent to 60 million euros, the survey showed. US crude futures fell below $100 a barrel at the end of September after rising to a record $147.27 on July 11. (Bloomberg) Automotive market Turkish automotive output shrank more than 20 percent in October, industry data showed on yesterday, as the vital export sector felt the impact of the abrupt downturn in European vehicle demand. Turkey’s Automotive Industry Association (OSD) said vehicle production tumbled 20.5 percent year-on-year to 80,301 units during the month, while exports slid 27.5 percent to 54,928. (Reuters)