ECONOMY

In Brief

Club Med pulls out of Albanian project TIRANA (Reuters) – France’s Club Mediterranee has quit a project to operate a holiday resort on Albania’s Ionian coast after a prolonged dispute over the ownership of the site, a letter by Club Med revealed yesterday. The five-year old controversy over who owned the horseshoe-shaped bay facing Greece’s holiday island of Corfu illustrates the confusion over title to property in post-communist Albania, a tangled problem deterring investment. The European Union, which expects Albania to break with its history with free and fair elections on June 28, has also urged it to solve the problem of disputed titles to attract foreign investors and meet the criteria for membership. «There’s no project for a Club Med in Albania,» Florence Le Gall, Club Mediterranee’s director of regional development, wrote to villagers claiming ownership of the land at Kakome, near Sarande in southern Albania. Chrystel Baude, a Club Med spokeswoman, confirmed the authenticity of Le Gall’s letter. Club Med’s withdrawal is a blow to Albania’s efforts to attract Western tourists to its virgin beaches on the Ionian. Sea Star Capital plans to raise 15.5 mln euros Sea Star Capital Plc, a Cyprus-based passenger shipping holding company, intends to raise about 15.5 million euros ($21.5 million) from the sale of new shares and will use the proceeds to help finance investment plans. Sea Star proposes to sell shares, representing as much as 10 percent of its current issued share capital, to one or more strategic or institutional investors at 26 euro-cents a piece, the Nicosia-based company said yesterday in a filing to Cypriot bourse authorities. Sea Star, headed by Greek ship owner Yiannis Vardinoyiannis, will complete the sale within 12 months should the plan get shareholder approval at a meeting on July 15, said the company. Anek Lines SA, Greece’s fourth-largest ferry company, agreed in May to buy Minoan Lines SA’s 34-percent stake in Hellenic Seaways, the largest domestic service-only ferry operator. (Bloomberg) PPC hirings Greece’s biggest electricity producer Public Power Corp (PPC) is to hire 4,600 workers after its labor union threatened strikes if no new hirings were made. State-controlled PPC said in a statement on Monday it would hire the new staff by the end of next year. (Reuters) Irish bonds Irish bonds will continue to yield more than their Greek counterparts amid speculation Greece is nearly finished with its securities sales for the year, according to ING Groep NV. «Although the performance has been aggressive, the better performance is in line with the supply equation as Greece is close to their issuance target of this year,» Wilson Chin, a fixed-income strategist in Amsterdam, wrote in a note yesterday. «Due to supply dynamics the wide spread is likely to sustain.» (Bloomberg) No default fears Standard and Poor’s doesn’t expect any euro-region member state to default on its debt even after the global credit crisis boosted fiscal pressure and widened budget deficits, said Moritz Kraemer, its head of sovereign ratings for Europe. (Bloomberg)