ECONOMY

In Brief

OTE says 601 employees have departed, 87 more to be hired OTE telecom said yesterday the departure of 601 employees under a voluntary retirement plan was completed on September 15. Following the departures, OTE will hire 87 new employees, the company said in a bourse statement. OTE’s work force stood at nearly 12,000 people at the end of June. Cyprus Air, Easyjet to fly from Larnaca as of November 10 Cyprus Airways Ltd and Easyjet Plc plan to start flights at the new Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus on November 10, the airfield’s operator said. Other carriers will transfer their arrivals and departures to the terminal by November 17, Hermes Airports Ltd, operator of the Larnaca and Paphos airports, said in statement on the company’s website. The new airport will be inaugurated November 7 and have an annual capacity of 7.5 million passengers compared with 3.2 million for the old terminal. Total installations will increase to 100,000 square meters (1.1 million square feet) from 22,100 square meters, according to the company. Hermes plans to invest 200 million euros ($300 million) to build a five-star hotel at the airport, the newspaper Simerini reported, citing Hermes Chairman Nikos Siakolas. Bouygues SA unit Bouygues Batiment International is the largest shareholder in the venture with a 22 percent stake. (Bloomberg) Bulgarian loan The European Investment Bank signed two loans in Bulgaria totaling 93.5 million euros ($140 million) to finance companies and improve transportation in the city of Sofia. The European Union’s lending arm signed a 43.5-million-euro loan with Sofia to improve streets in the capital, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov told reporters after the signing yesterday. The city accepted a 105-million-euro loan in November to complete two sections of the subway. The EIB also signed a 50-million-euro loan with the Bulgarian unit of Athens-based EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA that will be used to provide credit to small and medium-sized companies in Bulgaria, the bank said in an e-mailed statement. (Bloomberg) Energy plans Italy’s energy provider Petrolvilla plans to build a 100-million-euro hydropower cascade in Bulgaria and is also considering the construction of a 150-million-euro solar park, a company official said. It is also in talks with Italian utility Enel for joint participation in the planned hydro project along the Maritsa River in southern Bulgaria, Petrolvilla’s chief executive for Bulgaria, Plamen Dilkov, told Reuters. «They [Enel] have made us a financial offer… which foresees their participation,» Dilkov said in an interview late on Wednesday but gave no other details. Enel holds a 73 percent stake in Bulgaria’s thermal power plant Maritsa East Three. «Bulgaria is a good place for [renewable energy] projects, because no such investments have been realized so far. This is a vacant market,» Dilkov said. Hydropower now accounts for 10-12 percent of the European Union member country’s electricity and most of the existing plants were built during the communist era before 1989. Bulgaria wants to increase the share of renewable energy to 16 percent by 2020 as part of the EU’s efforts to combat climate change. Sofia provides incentives such as preferential prices for power produced from wind, solar and hydro. (Reuters)