ECONOMY

In Brief

Cypriot bourse rebounds following bomb scare NICOSIA – The Cyprus bourse rebounded from 24-month lows and rose 1.7 percent yesterday after a tumultuous session interrupted for more than an hour by a bomb hoax widely blamed on a disgruntled investor. Trading on the small market came to a halt after the benchmark index tested new lows within minutes of opening. After the all-clear, the picture was radically reversed with the all-share index climbing 2.34 points to end at 139.85. Turnover was 8.01 million pounds ($12.5 million) on 22.06 million shares traded. Traders said low prices after three successive losing sessions this week attracted buyers, but were noncommittal on whether it signalled a definitive rebound. Investors have got to realize this is not a casino of easy profit, said Citi Principal analyst Marios Mavrides. The market has taken a beating since the bubble burst on a 688-percent increase in prices in 1999. Liquidity squeezes and a raft of new issues have all been blamed for the market downturn. (Reuters) Wholesale price index slows to 4.5 pct in July The wholesale price inflation slowed to 4.5 percent year-on-year in July from 5.4 percent in June, the National Statistics Service (NSS) said yesterday. Month-on-month, wholesale price inflation dropped by 0.8 percent, with the average in the year to July came out at 4.9 percent year-on-year, the NSS said. (Reuters) Fruit exports jump. Fruit exports grew 35.3 percent in the year-to-August with the largest volumes absorbed by Germany, Russia, Poland and the UK, the Agriculture Ministry announced yesterday. Other export destinations for Greek fruit included the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Albania. The ministry said 2001 was the third consecutive year of strong fruit export growth. Fruit exports rose 25 to 30 percent in 1999 and 2000. Most notable was the 54.4-percent increase in exported oranges, followed by grapes (47.3 percent), peaches (39.1 percent) and lemons (32.3 percent). (Reuters) Low inflation. Cyprus’s consumer price index rose 1.81 percent year-on-year in August, the statistics department said yesterday. On a monthly basis the index (1998=100) rose 0.55 percent to 107.13 units. From January 1 to August 31 the CPI was up by 1.81 percent, the statistics office said. Higher monthly inflation was stoked by an increase in the prices of fresh fruit, vegetables and potatoes, a staple which was seasonally short in supply. (Reuters) Discounted funds. Fourteen of Greece’s 17 listed closed-end funds traded at a discount to their net asset values (NAV) at end-August with only three at a premium, the Union of Greek Institutional Investors (UGII) announced yesterday. The three funds trading at a premium were Active (13.5 percent), Dias (7.2 percent) and Exelixi (0.6 percent). The other funds were trading at discounts ranging from 0.6 percent (Marfin) to 33.6 percent (Development). The Athens bourse’s investment company index had underperformed the market in the year-to-August, down 34.7percent versus a drop of 18.5 percent in the benchmark index.