ECONOMY

In Brief

Greece to sell $4.7 bln of bonds in dollars and yen Greece, the second-most indebted European Union nation, plans to sell as much as $4.7 billion of bonds in dollars and yen this year and may use the funds to repurchase government debt. The Public Debt Management Agency may offer as much as $2 billion of the dollar-denominated securities and 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) of the yen debt, Spyros Papanicolaou, the head of the agency, said in an interview today in Athens. The sales will probably occur «after the summer,» he said. The government hasn’t decided the final amount or the banks that will manage the deal, he said. «If markets remain favorable, we will in any case tap the dollar and yen markets,» Papanicolaou said. «It’s important to diversify. It’s always good to have other sources.» Greece hasn’t sold non-euro debt since 1998, he said. The government will also sell more of its benchmark 10-year bond due 2019 «some time in the next couple of months» through banks. (Bloomberg) Libya looking into Cypriot energy market NICOSIA (Reuters) – Libya is looking at energy investment possibilities in Cyprus, the country’s top oil official, Shokri Ghanem, said yesterday. The eastern Mediterranean island is widely expected to offer 12 offshore plots for hydrocarbon exploration in a bidding round this year, and is attempting to introduce liquefied natural gas (LNG) into its energy grid over the next five years. «We are very much interested in looking at the different possibilities of investment in the new round that will be announced in Cyprus,» Ghanem, chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation, told reporters. The Libyan official is on a three-day official visit to the island. Cyprus launched its first licensing round for hydrocarbons in 11 offshore blocks in mid-2007, giving exploration rights to one company for one block. Authorities plan a second licensing round at some point this year. The island is exclusively reliant on heavy fuel oil for its power generation but plans to switch to natural gas by around 2014. Nuclear power Funding for Bulgaria’s planned nuclear power plant at Belene must be secured soon, or the multi-billion-euro project will be delayed, a consultant on the scheme said yesterday. The Socialist-led government and German utility RWE have signed a deal to build Bulgaria’s second nuclear power plant by 2014-2015 as part of Sofia’s efforts to recover its position as a major power exporter in the Balkans. State power utility NEK, which has 51 percent stake in Belene, has contracted Russia’s Atomstroiexport to build the two 1,000-megawatt reactors in a 4-billion-euro ($5.28 billion) deal, but has yet to ensure funding for the plant. (Reuters) Arms cooperation Russia is in talks with NATO member Turkey about selling Ankara state-of-the-art S-400 air defense systems, the Russian state arms export firm Rosoboronexport said yesterday. «The discussions were about arms cooperation and S-400 systems in particular,» Rosoboronexport spokesman Vyacheslav Davydenko told AFP, confirming a report about the talks. The S-400 is Russia’s most advanced air defense system and has previously not been exported, according to Rosoboronexport. (AFP)