ECONOMY

In Brief

Australians eye local energy sector, marinas Invest in Greece, a government agency which aims to attract foreign investment, said yesterday Australian investors have shown an interest in Greece’s energy sector and marina projects. The state agency on December 10 completed a 10-day visit to Australia, where Greek officials met with potential investors in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne. «The Australians showed particular interest in photovoltaic and geothermal sectors due to Greece’s high feed-in tariffs for electricity from renewable energy sources and attractive investment incentives in geothermal and solar power,» it said in a statement. «The development and management of marinas was another sector on which investors focused,» it added. Frigoglass expands in North America Frigoglass SA, a Greek maker of coolers for soft-drink companies and brewers, is buying Universal Nolin Co of South Carolina, to expand in North America as orders from European clients remain subdued. Frigoglass is paying $11.5 million and the transaction, financed from existing facilities, is likely to close by the end of the year, the company said in an e-mailed statement. It expects the acquisition to enhance earnings per share within two years. «This will provide us with a foothold in the US market with a strong manufacturing base,» Managing Director Petros Diamantides said in a phone interview. The company, which makes refrigerated displays for clients such as Coca-Cola Hellenic, the world’s second-biggest bottler of Coke drinks, cut jobs at plants in Russia, Romania and Turkey and closed factories in Norway and Poland as the global slowdown squeezed sales in Europe. (Bloomberg) Cyprus offers Cyprus, which is seeking to end its dependence on fuel oil for power generation, received interest from 13 companies to supply the island with liquefied natural gas from 2014. Consultants will help to evaluate the companies, which include «international giants from many countries,» Cypriot Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Paschalides said in a statement on Monday on the Cyprus Public Information Office’s website. The government plans to begin negotiations with a smaller number of the companies within two months, according to the statement, adding that they cannot be named for confidentiality reasons. On April 29 Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp said it was considering supplying natural gas to Cyprus. There is provision for the process to be speeded up to allow for gas supply before 2014, the ministry said in the statement. (Bloomberg) Spanish misery Spain tops a new «misery index» that combines unemployment rates with budget deficits, according to forecasts from Moody’s Investors Service. Spain’s economy will be more dismal next year than those of Latvia, Lithuania, Ireland and Greece, Moody’s strategists led by Pierre Cailleteau in London wrote in the company’s sovereign-risk outlook for 2010, released yesterday. (Bloomberg)