ECONOMY

In Brief

Piraeus Port union submits objection to sale Piraeus Port Authority SA unions have submitted their objections to Cosco Pacific Ltd’s takeover of some of the operations at Greece’s largest port to the country’s Ministry for Economy, Competitiveness and Merchant Marine. The Cosco deal includes tax breaks that are harmful to the national economy and the sustainability of Piraeus Port Authority and its workers, according to a joint e-mailed statement sent on Tuesday by the Piraeus dockworkers’ union and Greece’s union of port workers, known as OMYLE. Tax benefits that are not part of the original agreement are being investigated by the European Union at the unions’ request, the statement said. Workers resumed a strike at the start of this month in opposition to Cosco Pacific being granted a 35-year concession to expand and run Piraeus Port’s Pier II and construct a new Pier III. The protest was suspended on October 19. Piraeus Port Authority will continue to run Pier I in direct competition to Cosco. (Bloomberg) Deutsche Telekom confirms financial goals Deutsche Telekom AG’s CEO Rene Obermann confirmed the company’s financial targets, shrugging off questions about whether the weakening of the US dollar may hurt profits. «Our guidance is unchanged,» Obermann said on the sidelines of a media conference in Munich yesterday. Europe’s largest phone company in August reaffirmed a forecast of a 2 percent to 4 percent drop in full-year adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) from last year’s 19.5 billion euros ($28.9 billion). The group’s business in the US, T-Mobile USA, contributes about a quarter of Deutsche Telekom’s total revenue. In the first half, the group said the then-stronger US dollar added 1 billion euros to revenue. In the same report, Deutsche Telekom said that if exchange rates remained «approximately at current levels,» revenue and EBITDA were expected to rise in euro terms in 2009 at Mobile Communications USA. (Bloomberg) Nuclear power German utility RWE has abandoned Bulgaria’s planned Belene nuclear power plant due to funding problems and Sofia will redesign the project in the next year to attract new investors, officials said yesterday. RWE said in a statement the funding issue could not be resolved in time and that it had decided to back out. «Fundamental for this step is the fact that in the face of the international financial and economic crisis the question of financing could not be solved within the given time frame,» RWE said. Belene was due to become operational in 2014-15. Bulgaria’s new center-right government, which has put the 2,000-megawatt Belene plant under review due to rising costs, will hire a consultant to help it decide how to proceed and attract new investors, Bulgarian Energy Holding said. (Reuters) Hospital sale Dunyagoz Hastaneleri, a privately held eye hospital chain in Turkey, is in «advanced talks» with National Bank of Kuwait to sell a 25 percent stake, Chairman Eray Kapicioglu said yesterday. A decision on NBK’s offer will be taken within 10 days, Kapicioglu said, without providing details of the price. (Bloomberg)