ECONOMY

In Brief

Kouvelis travels to Libya for talks on energy Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis will visit Libya on Monday, accompanied by a delegation of Greek businessmen, as part of a three-day trip for discussions with local officials regarding ways of boosting bilateral trade relations. Talks with the Libyans will concentrate on energy, waste disposal, water resources, technical projects, construction, ports and healthcare, among other areas, according to the Foreign Ministry. A study released earlier this week by the Greek Embassy in Libya said that Greece has failed to take full advantage of its export potential to the North African country despite Athens’s support for Tripoli, the large number of Libyan students who study in Greece and Greece’s positive image in the country. Carrefour Marinopoulos ‘surprised’ at fine Carrefour Marinopoulos, which operates Carrefour supermarkets in Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria, said yesterday it was «surprised» at being fined by the competition authorities and that it retained the right to appeal the decision which it considers to be «unfair.» On Thursday, the supermarket was fined a total of 12.5 million euros by the Hellenic Competition Commission for breaking competition rules. The commission found that Marinopoulos had «infringed competition rules by imposing resale price maintenance and restricting cross-supplies between members of the franchise network,» coupled with exclusive supply obligations. Lamda EBITDA Greece’s leading shopping center developer Lamda expects 2010 recurring operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to remain at around last year’s levels, with higher rental income offsetting softer mall traffic, its CEO said yesterday. Consumers in recession-hit Greece are cutting back on spending after the country imposed austerity measures to shore up public finances as part of a 110-million-euro ($141 million) EU-IMF bailout. «For the six-month period, we expect recurring earnings EBITDA at last year’s levels,» Lamda’s CEO Odysseas Athanassiou told Reuters in an interview. «For the full-year, we believe we can maintain 2009 recurring EBITDA levels». (Reuters) Turk employment Turkey’s unemployment rate dropped to 12.0 percent in the three months to the end of May from 14.9 percent in the same period last year, official data showed on Thursday. The number of jobless was down 547,000 people at 3.07 million on a yearly comparison, the statistics institute said on the basis of a survey of some 98,000 people. Unemployment among the young, meanwhile, slowed down to 21.2 percent from 26.5 percent in the same period. Overall unemployment had stood at 13.7 percent in the three months to the end of April. Analysts said that although much of the improvement was due to a weak base effect, seasonally adjusted numbers showed a significant 0.5 percentage point decrease to 12 percent in the three-month period to the end of May. (AFP) Romanian job cuts Romania will «lay off a significant» number of state workers as the government follows through on plans to cut spending, Prime Minister Emil Boc told a seminar in Bucharest yesterday. He didn’t give any specific number of workers who will be let go from their jobs. Boc also said that the government wants to maintain the flat taxation system. (Bloomberg) Oil exploration Naftna Industrija Srbije, the OAO Gazprom-owned energy producer, has formed a venture with Russian state-owned OAO Zarubezhneft to explore for oil and natural gas in the Serbian part of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Preliminary estimates indicate that there are about 50 million tons of oil in Republika Srbska, the Novi Sad-based company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Output could start in 2014 with maximum production capacity of 1 million tons likely to be reached in 2020, it said. (Bloomberg)