ECONOMY

In Brief

Jobless in Cyprus rise to 20,671 in September Cyprus unemployment rose to 20,671 individuals in September after cuts in the hotel, manufacturing, restaurant and construction industries, the Cyprus Statistical Service said yesterday in a statement on its website. Unemployment in the euro area’s second-smallest economy increased 17.3 percent from a year earlier while falling nearly 8 percent from August, the second such drop in as many months, according to the statement. The number of unemployed in manufacturing rose by 364 in September from a year earlier, while unemployment in the hotel and restaurant industry rose by 343 as the summer tourist season ended, the service said. Economic sentiment in Cyprus improved for the third consecutive month in September on stronger demand for services and manufacturing companies being more positive about their finances, the University of Cyprus said on September 27. (Bloomberg) DESFA to speed up new LNG storage unit DESFA, Greece’s natural gas grid operator, said it is speeding up construction of a third liquefied natural gas storage tank at its Revithoussa Island terminal, near Athens. The 95,000-cubic meter LNG storage facility, which is budgeted at 130 million euros ($180 million), is now scheduled for completion in 2014, a year earlier than originally planned, the Athens-based company said in a statement on its website. The facility will increase the company’s total storage capacity at Revithoussa to 225,000 cubic meters, boosting the reliability of Greece’s gas grid and enabling DESFA to provide services to the eastern Mediterranean region as a whole, the statement said. The wharf area at Revithoussa will be extended to enable LNG tankers of 180,000 cubic meters to dock, compared with today’s 135,000-cubic meter limit, DESFA said. LNG is gas-cooled to a liquid for transport. (Bloomberg) Soccer deal Greece’s top soccer league decided to extend its broadcasting rights deal with Forthnet, the country’s biggest subscription TV provider, in a deal worth 176 million euros ($243.8 million). The Super League said in a statement issued late on Tuesday that it had accepted Forthnet’s offer to prolong their current agreement for two years, until the end of the 2013-14 season. Retaining the broadcast rights is key for Forthnet to defend its market lead in Greek pay-TV over OTE, Greece’s biggest telecommunications company. «Overall, the amount is high,» said Greek brokerage Proton in a morning note to investors. «Thus, the development can be perceived as positive for Forthnet only in competition terms… especially considering the launch of a competitive DTH (direct-to-home) product by OTE.» (Reuters) Tourism revenues Greek tourism revenues will fall 7-8 percent in 2010, on the milder side of expectations, and early bookings show signs of a recovery next year, a key industry leader said yesterday. Strikes and protests in Greece have kept many tourists away from its beaches and antiquities this year, hurting a key sector that comprises about a fifth of the economy, as the troubled eurozone member struggles to emerge from a debt crisis. «In the end, this year was better than expected. At least we avoided total disaster,» Andreas Andreadis, vice president of the tourism enterprises association and head of the hoteliers’ federation, told Reuters. (Reuters) Bank support Europe needs to do more to wean its banks off crisis support measures or risk further financial turmoil and a prolonged period of weak growth, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday. In its half-yearly World Economic Outlook report, the IMF said Europe’s banks are still overly reliant on help from governments and the European Central Bank, and remain highly vulnerable to any slowdown in economic growth, another outbreak of government debt crisis and funding constraints. «If unaddressed, renewed financial sector stress could spread and could have significant adverse effects on real activity,» the IMF said. The Fund said this summer’s stress tests on 91 banks across the EU were «helpful» in improving disclosure regarding their financial resilience following the government debt crisis that nearly pushed Greece into bankruptcy and raised real questions about the future of the euro currency itself. (AP)