ECONOMY

In Brief

Greek bank deposits in Cyprus hit 8.1 bln euros Deposits at Greek banks operating in Cyprus rose 0.5 percent in July from June to more than 8.1 billion euros ($10.3 billion), the Central Bank of Cyprus said. That compares with a 0.3 percent overall increase for the island’s banking system. The gain was mainly the result of a 6.1 percent advance in deposits at Eurobank EFG Cyprus Ltd, a unit of Greece’s second-largest lender, to just under 2 billion euros, the central bank said yesterday in a statement on its website. Deposits at other Greek lenders fell 1.2 percent overall. Deposits at National Bank of Greece (Cyprus) Ltd, a unit of Greece’s largest lender, fell 2.8 percent to 1.2 billion euros, while those at Alpha Bank Cyprus Ltd decreased 0.5 percent to 3.5 billion euros. Deposits at the Bank of Piraeus (Cyprus) Ltd and Emporiki Bank – Cyprus Ltd, a unit of Emporiki Bank of Greece SA, fell 1.5 percent to 1.1 billion euros and 2.4 percent to 333.8 million euros respectively, according to the central bank. (Bloomberg) Cypriot state carrier’s first-half losses widen Cyprus Airways Ltd, the state-controlled carrier, said its first-half losses widened after a decrease in passengers and cargo. The loss came to 25.5 million euros ($32.2 million), compared with a loss of 3.5 million euros in the same period of 2009, the Nicosia-based company said in an announcement to the Cyprus Stock Exchange. Sales fell over 14 percent to 99.3 million euros after the Greek economic crisis affected demand on the key Greece-Cyprus route and competition increased from Greek airlines Olympic Air SA and Aegean Airlines SA, the statement showed. (Bloomberg) Shipyard approval Abu Dhabi MAR Group and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems won EU regulatory approval yesterday for a deal that combines some of their civil and naval shipbuilding and repair operations. Abu Dhabi MAR, which owns shipyards in Germany and the United Arab Emirates, and ThyssenKrupp Marine, a division of Germany’s ThyssenKrupp AG, notified the European Commission of their plans in July 2010. «The concentration does not raise any competition concerns,» the European Commission said in a statement. «In the markets for building naval ships, Abu Dhabi MAR is not active in Germany, Sweden and Greece, where ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems traditionally has had strong positions.» Under the deal, Abu Dhabi MAR will buy Thyssen’s civil shipbuilding business. (Reuters) Intralot earnings Intralot, the world’s second-largest lottery systems provider, yesterday reported a 39.8 percent drop in first-half net profits, hurt by a levy Greece imposed on large firms to boost ailing finances. Intralot offers gaming platforms and operates sports betting and video lotto machines for online casinos and poker in about 50 countries around the world. The group’s net profits fell to 25.3 million euros ($32.18 million), broadly in line with market expectations, as the levy shaved 5.3 million euros off of its bottom line. Analysts had forecast net profits of 26.1 million euros in a recent Reuters poll. Excluding the windfall tax, net profits dropped 27 percent to 30.6 million euros, hurt by a higher gaming tax in Bulgaria and increased payouts to winners. (Reuters) Retail sales Greece’s retail sales fell 4.4 percent year-on-year in volume terms in June after a 7.3 percent drop in May, with the slump in consumer spending continuing as austerity policies strain household budgets, data from the country’s statistics service ELSTAT showed yesterday. Retail sales by revenues rose 1.2 percent year-on-year in June after a 1.2 percent decrease the previous year. «The decline in consumer spending continued in June at a milder pace compared to the previous month. The start of the discounts season, coupled with the expected rise in the value-added tax rate which went into effect July 1, helped sales in June,» said Nick Magginas, economist at National Bank. »In the coming months, the tax increase is expected to pressure retail sales, with tourism being the main counterweight to weaker demand.» (Reuters)