ECONOMY

In Brief

MIG: Olympic Airlines to turn profit in 2011 Marfin Investment Group (MIG), the new owner of Olympic Airlines, expects the Greek carrier to break even next year and turn profitable by 2011. MIG bought the lossmaking airline, its ground handling and aircraft maintenance units for 177 million euros ($234 million) earlier this month, ending years of wrangling with the European Union over illegal state aid. «Break even at the minimum, this is what we want right now (for year one). But in year two we will start having some very considerable profits,» MIG’s vice chairman, Andreas Vgenopoulos, told Reuters in an interview yesterday. Olympic was founded in 1957 by Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis, who sold it to the Greek state in 1974. Driven to financial hardship in state hands, it was losing about a million euros a day. Once a luxury carrier with gold plated cutlery, it became one of Europe’s most troubled airlines in state hands and watched private rival Aegean Airlines steal more than half its domestic market share. (Reuters) Bond auction may raise more than 5 bln euros Greece could raise more than 5 billion euros from the reopening of a 2014 bond as investors’ demand for the issue has topped 10 billion euros, two Finance Ministry officials said yesterday. «Such a good order book – demand exceeded 10 billion euros – warrants raising an amount of more than 5 billion euros,» one of the officials, who declined to be named, said. The books will close today, when the pricing is expected, the officials said. (Reuters) Citibank fined The Development Ministry said yesterday it has fined Citibank 1 million euros for violating laws regarding misleading behavior and unfair commercial practices after the lender had been selling Lehman Brothers products in Greece as a 100 percent capital-guaranteed product. The ministry added that Citibank had been selling these products in Greece between 2004 to 2008 and accused the lender of failing to properly inform customers of the risks involved. Citibank responded by describing the charges as being unfounded and said it will appeal the fine. OPAP upgrade OPAP SA, Europe’s largest publicly traded gambling company, is renovating hundreds of its stores in Cyprus and Greece to increase brand recognition. The goal of the revamp is to «increase awareness of the organization and primarily to improve the aesthetics» of retail locations, the Athens-based company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The company will renovate 160 stores in Cyprus within the next three months and then continue with its outlets in Greece, the statement said. The focus will be on the storefronts and the benches where customers play the games. No details were provided on costs. OPAP bought a license from the Greek government seven years ago for the right to be the country’s exclusive gambling service until 2020. (Bloomberg) Ellaktor full-year Ellaktor SA, Greece’s biggest construction company, posted a full-year profit of 94.8 million euros compared with 129.8 million euros a year earlier, according to an Athens bourse filing. That beat the 92.7-million-euro median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of seven analysts. (Bloomberg)