ECONOMY

In Brief

Power utility PPC seen reporting rise in profits Public Power Corp, Greece’s biggest electricity producer, may say first-quarter profit increased as fuel prices fell. The Athens-based company’s net income rose to 190 million euros ($258 million) from 30 million euros a year earlier, according to the median estimate of seven analysts in a Bloomberg News survey. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose 111 percent to 433 million euros, according to the survey. US oil prices averaged $43.31 a barrel in the period, 56 percent lower than a year earlier, reducing costs of fuel and energy imports. Tariff increases and a strike in the base period may also contribute to the gain. The former power monopoly will report earnings on Tuesday before the start of stock trading on the Athens Exchange. (Bloomberg) Cypriot lender expects drop in 2009 earnings Cyprus’s largest lender Bank of Cyprus expects 2009 net profit to drop to between 300 million euros ($409.4 million) and 400 million euros, its chairman said. Theodoros Aristodemou told shareholders it was difficult to give precise estimates for 2009 in the present financial environment. «An indicative range is profits of between 300 and 400 million euros,» he said. The bank reported full-year net profit of 502 million euros in 2008, a 4 percent increase from 2007. Bank of Cyprus reports its results for the first quarter of 2009 on May 28. The bank has branches in eight countries, but its key areas of activity are Cyprus and Greece. The Cypriot group acquired 80 percent in a Russian bank, Uniastrum Bank, last year. Russia is an area eyed for future growth potential. «We believe Russia will in future be the third pillar of growth for the bank,» Aristodemou told the bank’s annual general meeting. (Reuters) Gas connection DESFA, the operator of Greece’s natural gas transmission system, will sign an agreement on the planned South Stream pipeline with Russia’s OAO Gazprom today and expects a project study to be completed by September. The two companies will sign a cooperation accord on developing the Greek section of the South Stream link, Athens-based DESFA said on Wednesday in an e-mailed statement. The partners will each have a 50 percent stake in a Greece-registered company set up to manage the project. (Bloomberg) Telecom revenues Sales at Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS, Turkey’s biggest mobile phone operator, will grow in single digits this year, Chief Executive Sureyya Ciliv said in an interview. Turkcell’s sales will rise at a faster pace in the second half after it introduces third-generation mobile phone services, or 3G, in 81 cities this summer, Ciliv said in Istanbul yesterday. Sales of iPhones by Turkcell were 180,000 since September 26 and there are about 200,000 iPhone users subscribing to its network, he said. (Bloomberg) Bond auction Italy sold just over 7 billion euros of conventional BTP bonds yesterday, including its largest batch of ultra-long bond issuance since before the global credit crisis began in August 2007. Italy had planned to sell up to 7.25 billion euros of paper which included the 3.75 percent December 2013 and 5.0 percent August 2039 BTP, as well as an off-the-run issue, the 3.75 percent August 2015 BTP last issued in January 2006. (Reuters)