ECONOMY

In Brief

Cyprus’s Louis sells cruise ship for $2 million Louis Plc, the largest tourism company in Cyprus and Greece, sold the cruise ship Ivory for $2 million as part of a strategy to renew its fleet. The sale of the Greek-flagged vessel, which has a passenger capacity of 690, will result in an accounting loss of $3.6 million given the current dollar-euro exchange rate, Nicosia, Cyprus-based Louis said yesterday in a statement on the Cyprus Stock Exchange. The loss had already been taken into account in the company’s 2009 results and won’t affect Louis’s existing forecasts for the full year, according to the statement. Louis said on November 20 it expects cruises to help the company to considerably reduce losses in 2009. Cruises have risen in popularity as the global economic crisis prompts Europeans and north Americans to seek value-for-money with all-inclusive transport, accommodation and services. (Bloomberg) Serbian banks seen safe even if slide continues BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia’s top 16 banks, representing 80 percent of the sector’s assets, would maintain safe capital adequacy ratios even if the economy continued to slide, the central bank said in a statement yesterday. «Even if it came to the worst-case, pessimistic scenario, the capital adequacy ratio would still stay above the required minimum of 12 percent, i.e. at 16.04 percent in 2010 and at 15.16 percent in 2011,» the statement said. «The worst-case scenario, and a totally unrealistic one, assumes GDP decline of 3.5 percent in 2010 and a 2 percent decline in 2011,» Mira Eric-Jovic, central bank vice governor in charge of bank supervision, told Reuters. The National Bank of Serbia, under fire for a month over the renewed volatility of the dinar, which shed 7.6 percent against the euro in 2009 and another 1.3 percent this month, stopped short of detailing other macroeconomic assumptions. The economy is expected to have contracted by 2.8 percent in 2009 and to show growth of 1.5 percent in 2010. OTE appointment OTE telecom said yesterday Christini Spanoudaki will be the new chief executive officer of its subsidiary, OTE Estate, replacing Yiannis Panagiotidis. Spanoudaki, who has served as chief financial officer at OTE, had been chairing chairing OTEGlobe’s board of directors. Shipping fees The cost of shipping 2-million-barrel cargoes of Middle East crude to Asia may advance from a 15-month high as cold weather in the Northern Hemisphere strengthens vessel demand. Charter rates on the industry’s benchmark Saudi Arabia-to-Japan route advanced 3.4 percent to 105.25 Worldscale points yesterday, the highest since October 2008, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. For owners, that means earnings of $64,068 a day after fuel costs. «There is more demand because of the heavy winter,» Ody Valatsas, chartering manager at Athens-based Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd, Greece’s second-largest operator of 2-million-barrel carrying supertankers, said by e-mail yesterday. «The market has grown strong and looks like it will stay there definitely for the next few weeks.» (Bloomberg)