ECONOMY

In Brief

Halyvourgiki takes Citigroup to court A Citigroup Inc unit was sued over claims the bank published a «malicious» and inaccurate research note on Halyvourgiki Inc, a Greek steelmaker that says it competes with a Citigroup client. Citigroup Global Markets distributed «falsehoods» involving revenue, market share and investments made by Halyvourgiki, the Athens-based steelmaker said in a suit filed in London in September and released by the court on Wednesday. The data were published in 2007 alongside accurate figures about Halyvourgiki competitor Sidenor SA, a publicly traded Citigroup client, the lawsuit said. Citigroup «stands to benefit or profit commercially, and/or in terms of its enhanced business reputation from disparaging or inhibiting investment in rival companies of Sidenor’s,» closely held Halyvourgiki said in the lawsuit, which seeks undisclosed damages and an injunction to stop further publication. British regulators in March said they were investigating cases of potential market abuse by traders spreading false rumors to manipulate share prices. It is the first time a bank has been sued in the UK over a research note, lawyers said, in a sign that companies may pursue their own remedies. «It is a novel action that will require compelling evidence,» said Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry, a litigation partner at Lawrence Graham in London who isn’t involved in the case. «It will take more than factual errors in an analyst’s report to constitute malicious falsehood.» New York-based Citigroup said in a statement that it considers the lawsuit without merit and will defend its position vigorously. (Bloomberg) Turkish natural gas exports to Greece flowing ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s natural gas exports to Greece are continuing without problems, Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said yesterday, as Russia and Ukraine were deadlocked in a pricing dispute choking off supplies to Europe. He also told Reuters in an interview that he believed it was possible for Russian gas flow to Europe to be restarted before talks to resolve the dispute are completed. Telecoms park Bahrain’s Gulf Finance House (GFH) plans to build an IT and telecoms business park in Tunisia worth $3 billion, Tunisian official news agency TAP said yesterday. «Gulf Finance House is planning to invest $3.0 billion to finance the project of Tunis Telecoms City,» TAP reported. The site would contain an international telecoms university, an IT development center and a park dedicated to multimedia and content creation. It would also include homes, offices and leisure centres and is expected to create about 26,000 jobs, TAP said. (Reuters) Praktiker sales Praktiker AG, Germany’s second-biggest home-improvement retailer, dropped the most in Frankfurt trading since it first sold stock three years ago after saying 2008 sales fell short of its forecast. Praktiker declined 1.25 euros, or 17 percent, to 6 euros, the biggest slump since November 2005. The loss reduced the company’s market value to 348 million euros ($477 million). Sales dipped to 3.91 billion euros from 3.95 billion euros, the company said in a statement yesterday. (Bloomberg)