In Brief

Athens bourse hooks up with European network The Athens Exchange said yesterday its central securities depository and Spain’s Iberclear connected successfully with Link Up Markets, the joint venture of eight European depositories set up to improve efficiency. Link Up Markets was created to reduce the costs of post-trade processing of cross-border securities trading in Europe. It is a joint venture between the central securities depositories of Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Norway, Spain and Switzerland, which represents 50 percent of European securities transactions. The venture went live on March 30, connecting the depositories of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Denmark. Cyprus and Norway will follow in the next stages. (Reuters) Cyprus Airways to offer more destinations Cyprus Airways Ltd has signed a code-sharing agreement with the United Arab Emirates’ Etihad Airways, allowing the eastern Mediterranean island’s state-controlled carrier to offer more destinations. The agreement will be applied to three Etihad weekly flights between Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus and the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, according to an e-mailed statement from Cyprus Airways yesterday. The flights will appear to customers as Cyprus Airways flights, allowing the carrier to offer more competitive prices, according to the statement. Cyprus Airways customers will now be able to connect with Etihad flights to other parts of the Middle East as well as to Australia, Christos Agapiou, the Nicosia-based company’s commercial director said. The Cypriot airline already provides technical support and in-flight catering to Etihad for its flights from Larnaca. (Bloomberg) Cypriot inflation Cyprus’s annual inflation rate slowed to 0.2 percent in June from 0.6 percent in May, due to lower prices for certain fresh fruits and potatoes, the Cypriot statistics service said on its website yesterday. (Bloomberg) Capital boost The Ukrainian unit of EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA, Greece’s second-biggest lender, plans to boost its capital by 200 million hryvnias ($26 million) by issuing additional shares. VAT Universal Bank, the Kiev, Ukraine-based unit, will sell the shares in the third quarter, the lender said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. The decision was approved by shareholders on June 22, the bank added. Adding capital offers an «adequate response to economic conditions in Ukraine,» Miltiadis Papanikolaou, chief executive officer at Universal, said in the statement. The capital increase will improve the reliability of the bank and strengthen «our positions on the Ukrainian market in the future,» he added. (Bloomberg) Bulgarian budget Bulgaria ran a budget surplus of 555.4 million levs ($400.7 million) at the end of May, down 83.2 percent on annual basis as the government spent with open hand despite falling revenues, data showed yesterday. The budget surplus stood at 3.3 billion levs at end-May last year. The surplus also dropped 17.8 percent compared with end-April this year, Finance Ministry data showed. (Reuters)