Officials call talk of CyTA-OTE share swap premature

OTE Telecom officials said yesterday that discussions of a share swap with Cyprus’s state telecoms monopoly appeared premature after the idea was raised between the Greek and Cypriot Transport ministries. An OTE official told Reuters that cooperation with CyTA was nothing new but that he was unaware of any plans for a share swap. «There have always been talks with CyTA management and it is logical there would be. We have cooperation in a number of fields,» said the official, who declined to be named. Cypriot daily Phileleftheros reported yesterday that Greek Transport Minister Christos Verelis had suggested a share swap between OTE and the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CyTA) during a meeting on Wednesday. Verelis was quoted as saying he made the proposal to Cyprus’s Communications Minister Averoff Neophytou. «It is a proposal for cooperation between OTE and CyTA, while the Greek government (also) wishes to see an acceleration of cooperation for specific expansion plans in the Balkans and in the laying of undersea cables,» he said. «It is not a matter we are involved in. Our owner is the government,» said CyTA spokesman Paris Menelaou. Any share swap in the short term would be unlikely because CyTA has no shares, Menelaou said. (Reuters)