ECONOMY

In Brief

Cyprus Airways subsidiary Hellas Jet to begin flights in spring 2003 NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus Airways have leased three Airbus 320s for its Greek start-up airline Hellas Jet, expected to spread its wings next year to grab a share of the Athens 2004 Olympics’ traffic. «Eventually we expect to lease five aircraft. As a first step, the company decided to lease three,» Cyprus Airways spokesman Tassos Angelis told Reuters. «We plan to start flying in the spring of 2003.» The Cypriot state carrier has long eyed the Greek market as fertile ground for expansion and expects commercial aviation to be a growth market ahead of the Athens Olympics. It firmed up its plans to create a Greek subsidiary after pulling out of a bidding race for a majority stake in ailing Greek carrier Olympic last year. The short-haul aircraft, which can hold up to 175 passengers, depending on cabin configuration, would be leased from CIT Aerospace based in New York, he said. Hellas Jet will be 49-percent owned by Cyprus Airways with the remainder held by investors. Consultations were underway with prospective partners, Angelis said. One Equity Partners takes full control of HDW BERLIN (AP) – US investment firm One Equity Partners will take full control of German submarine maker Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft (HDW) by purchasing the remaining 25 percent of the company. HDW, along with Ferrostaal, has acquired Hellenic Shipyards, the largest Greek shipyard, but has still not signed a contract, as there are still differences with the State over the shipyards’ debts and orders from the Greek navy. One Equity Partners, financed by Chicago-based Bank One Corporation, had acquired a 75-percent stake in HDW in March. It has agreed to leave HDW management in place and has pledged not to sell its shares for at least five years. Downgrading Deutsche Bank announced yesterday it downgraded Greece’s Antenna TV to «hold» from «buy,» setting a $0.57 price target for the company’s American Depository Receipts (ADRs). It said continuous pressure after the release of second-quarter results had pushed Antenna TV’s price down by more than 50 percent in the last 20 days. «We believe the collapse is attributed to the continuous drift in media valuations, Antenna’s massive debt exposure and low visibility in fundamental recovery, exacerbated by an illiquid ADR,» analyst George Spais said in a research note. He said Antenna TV had an expected level of net debt to equity in 2002 of 210 percent, with its stock offering only an 8.0 percent upside. The stock closed was trading at $0.52 late yesterday on the NASDAQ. (Reuters) 3G delay Third-generation mobile telephony, awaited with great, and perhaps unrealistic, expectations, will be delayed but will succeed, speakers at a forum on the new technology said earlier this week. According to Constantine Aloupis, Southeast Europe chief of Motorola, the next two years will be very difficult for 3G equipment manufacturers but things will improve from then on. Emmanuel Yakoumakis, head of Greece’s National Telecoms and Postal Services Commission, said the infrastructure for 3G services is being built at a fast pace. «Companies are worried and more easily influenced by international factors,» he said. He said production was also being held back because of high levels of inventories.