ECONOMY

In Brief

Wind gets offers from potential investors Wind Hellas Telecommunications SA said it received offers from a «number of potential investors» for the Greek phone company, which put itself up for sale after delaying payments on 1.8 billion euros ($2.4 billion) of debt. Buyers have until September 15 to make a binding offer for the company, Wind Hellas said in a statement released late yesterday. It didn’t provide the bidders’ identities. Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, who owns Greece’s third-largest mobile phone operator through Weather Investments SpA, said he hasn’t made a decision about whether to invest more funds. «We are considering it but there’s no decision as yet,» Sawiris said in an interview. «It will depend on discussions with creditors.» The company is also exploring a share sale, an investment with a debt restructuring, or a combination, according to the statement. Wind Hellas, hurt by falling consumer confidence and spending after the implementation of austerity measures to ease the Greek budget deficit crisis, is seeking a seller and an agreement to write off some of its debt less than a year after emerging from bankruptcy. Creditors to the firm agreed to freeze payments until November 5 while it tries to sell itself, Wind Hellas said last month. The company deferred a 17.5-million-euro interest payment on its 250-million-euro revolving credit facility. It also missed a 23-million-euro coupon payment on 1.2 billion euros of floating rate notes due July 15. The company’s secured floating-rate notes were unchanged at 32.5 cents, according to HSBC Holdings Plc prices on Bloomberg. Its 356 million euros of unsecured 8.5 percent notes due October 2013 were also unchanged at 3 cents. (Bloomberg) Mytilineos profit seen quadrupling Greek metals group Mytilineos, which is expanding into energy, is seen nearly quadrupling net profit in the first half, helped by higher aluminum prices, a Reuters poll showed. The average net profit estimate from five analysts came to 38 million euros ($49.67 million), compared with 10 million euros in the same period last year. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) are seen up to 105 million euros from 48 million euros in the first half of 2009. Mytilineos runs Southeast Europe’s biggest aluminum smelter and is a major producer and trader of the commodity. The group is also active in the construction of electricity plants and in power generation. Metal and currency hedges have helped the company shore up profitability. Its power station building unit, Metka, is also improving sales as it accelerates work on client orders. Mytilineos shares have gained 0.8 percent since the start of the year, outperforming a 20 percent decline in the Greek benchmark index. Figures are scheduled to be released today. (Reuters) Romanian economy Romania expects its economy to grow by 1.5-2.0 percent next year and public overspending will be cut sharply to 4.4 percent of national output, Finance Minister Sebastian Vladescu was quoted as saying by press reports yesterday. The minister said that these targets had been agreed with the International Monetary Fund, which has helped rescue the economy on condition that radical action is taken to reduce the public deficit. IMF experts have been in Bucharest for a week to examine the way agreed measures are being applied. The target for inflation has been set at 3.0 percent, with a margin of one percentage point either side of this, the minister said. The Romanian economy has been in recession for six quarters. (AFP) Titan’s subsidiary Alexandria Portland Cement, a unit of Greece’s Titan Cement Co, said its first-half profit rose 13 percent. Net income rose to 286.5 million Egyptian pounds ($50.35 million) compared with 253.3 million pounds in the first half of 2009, it said in a regulatory filing. The company’s stand-alone profit declined to 145.3 million pounds compared with 145.9 million in 2009. (Bloomberg)