ECONOMY

In Brief

Piraeus considers legal action against Deutsche Greece’s fourth-largest lender Piraeus Bank said it may take legal action against Deutsche Bank over a report on Greek banks that it said contained serious errors. A spokeswoman for Deutsche Bank in London had no immediate comment yesterday on Piraeus’s statement. In a report, Deutsche had cut its target prices on seven Greek and Cypriot banks, including Piraeus, on global economic concerns. Deutsche cut Piraeus to «sell» from «buy» and lowered its target price on the stock to 4.40 euros from 28 euros. Piraeus, along with ATEbank, were both rated as the bank’s «least preferred» stocks, as they were the only two it expected to report losses in 2009 through 2010, according to the report. In a statement, Piraeus said it was disturbed by assumptions in the Deutsche Bank report, which it said led to false conclusions. It said it reserved the right to pursue court action. Earlier this year, Greek steelmaker Sheet Steel sued Citigroup over a research note that it said was inaccurate, with misstated revenue figures. (Reuters) Frigoglass 2008 profit off more than expected Greek cooler maker Frigoglass said yesterday it saw 2008 profits dropping more sharply than expected as the global economic downturn forces the firm to close down units and cut jobs. The world’s largest maker of drink refrigeration equipment, which supplies brewers including Heineken and Greek bottler Coca-Cola Hellenic, plans to shut two of its 11 production units around the world and cut about 475 jobs. It did not say how sharp the profit fall would be. Last October, the firm said it expected an 18-20 percent drop in 2008 net profit to about 36-37 million euros and a 2-3 percent decline in sales. It also said it would cut costs and streamline operations as the world crisis hit consumer sentiment and demand for coolers. «The fall in 2008 profit is expected to be bigger than the guidance we gave in October due to a one-off pretax cost of 10.8 million euros in the fourth quarter last year,» Frigoglass investor relations director Lillian Phillips told Reuters in a telephone interview. (Reuters) Vessel sold Minoan Lines SA, Greece’s second-biggest ferry operator, agreed to sell its Pasiphae Palace vessel for 75 million euros ($96.9 million) to Societe Nationale Maritime Corse Mediterrannee, according to an Athens bourse filing. (Bloomberg) Cosmofon sale Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS, Turkey’s biggest wireless company, made a nonbinding offer for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s Cosmofon Mobile Telecommunications Services AD Skopje, Turkcell Deputy CEO Koray Ozturkler said. Turkcell has about $3 billion in cash to spend on international acquisitions as it seeks growth abroad. The company is examining opportunities in the Balkans and Middle East. Last year, Turkcell paid $500 million for a phone operator in Belarus. «We’ve made a nonbinding offer for Cosmofon,» Ozturkler said yesterday in an interview in Istanbul, where Turkcell is based. «It’s a part of our examination of investment opportunities in a range of countries.» The Cosmofon asset is being sold by Cosmote Mobile Telecommunications SA, the wireless unit of Greece’s Hellenic Telecommunications Organization SA. (Bloomberg)