ECONOMY

In Brief

Olympic Air to start Athens-Beirut flights Olympic Air will start flights from Athens to Beirut as of Saturday, the airline said yesterday. Flights to and from the capital of Lebanon will be initially scheduled for four times a week, the company said without providing further details. J&P Avax loses out on Polish stadium contract The Polish city of Wroclaw canceled a 598-million-zloty ($208 million) contract for Mostostal Warszawa SA and J&P Avax SA to build a stadium for the Euro 2012 soccer championships. Wroclaw will start talks today with a group including Budimex SA to take over the work, Marcin Garcarz, a spokesman for the city, said by phone yesterday. The municipality plans to sign a new contract in January to ensure that the stadium will be completed in the spring of 2012, Mayor Rafal Dutkiewicz said in a press conference carried live on the TVN24 television channel yesterday. Shares of Mostostal, a unit of Spain’s Acciona SA, fell 5.6 percent to 60.4 zloty in Warsaw trading; they had gained 1.6 percent before the announcement. Poland’s benchmark WIG20 Index slipped 0.8 percent. (Bloomberg) OPAP chief Greece named Yannis Spanoudakis, a senior Athens 2004 Olympics organizer, as the new chief executive officer of Europe’s biggest betting company, OPAP, a company official said yesterday. «The Greek state proposes Yannis Spanoudakis as new CEO and Haris Stamatopoulos as new chairman,» OPAP’s outgoing CEO Christos Hadjiemmanouil said in a general shareholders meeting held to approve the appointments. Spanoudakis is a former managing director with the Athens 2004 Olympics organizing committee and a senior executive with Dow Chemical. Stamatopoulos is a former chief of the Athens International Airport. The Greek state is OPAP’s biggest shareholder, with a 34 percent stake, which means the proposed candidates should get shareholders’ approval. Hadjiemmanouil and other board members offered their resignation after the new Socialist government came to power in the October 4 elections. (Reuters) Cyprus loans Credit to households and businesses in Cyprus, the euro area’s second-smallest economy, expanded in November at the lowest rate in almost three years mainly due to falling demand from businesses. Lending rose 7.2 percent on an annual basis last month compared to 37.8 percent in November 2008 and 12 percent in December 2006, the Cyprus central bank said in a report yesterday on its website. Loans to businesses rose 4.6 percent in November, reflecting a reluctance by companies to take on debt, compared with a rise of 5.5 percent in October and 45.3 percent the same month a year earlier, the central bank reported. Credit to households increased 9.3 percent, boosted by new low-interest mortgage loans. (Bloomberg) Pay cut Hellenic Petroleum SA, Greece’s biggest refiner, said its board approved a 15 percent pay cut for all members including Chief Executive Officer Ioannis Kostopoulos, according to an e-mailed statement from the Athens-based company yesterday. (Bloomberg)