ECONOMY

In Brief

EU accession worries weigh down Turkish markets ISTANBUL – Turkish markets weakened on lingering uncertainties over the country’s European Union accession talks and a Fitch Ratings report indicating EU risks for Turkey, dealers said yesterday. The lira continued its recent slide against the dollar and closed at 1.3650 in the interbank market compared with a previous 1.3460. Yields on the benchmark March 7, 2007, bond rose to 16.43 percent from Tuesday’s 16.27 percent. The share index fell 1.24 percent to 27,906.28 points. Late on Tuesday Fitch Ratings issued a report highlighting the recent challenges to Turkey’s accession, including the referenda in France and the Netherlands rejecting the proposed EU Constitution, the forthcoming German elections and renewed pressure on Ankara to recognize Cyprus. «The atmosphere at home and abroad is not very positive and foreigners cutting their positions is causing a weakening of the lira,» a banker said. (Reuters) Second chance for E9 form submission Taxpayers will be able to submit supplementary or corrective E9 form property statements until November 30 without paying fines or additional charges, the Economy Ministry announced. Fines will apply to those who miss that deadline. Anyone who has not submitted a handwritten E9 form will pay a fine ranging from 120 to 1,200 euros depending on the case, although they can still submit an electronic statement between October 25 and November 30 and escape any penalties. The ministry expects numerous taxpayers to submit supplementary or corrective statement as the E9 form is considered complicated. TOUSA Technical Olympic USA, a subsidiary of its namesake in Greece, posted a 25 percent annual rise in turnover in the year’s first half, reaching $1.1 billion. After-tax profits came to $72.1 million from $42.2 million last year, a rise of 71 percent. New homes delivered increased by 32 percent and their price rose by 4 percent. The company’s gross profit margin reached 22.4 percent from 18.8 percent. TOUSA expects its group turnover to come to $2.4 billion in 2005 and to $2.8 billion in 2006. Serb tax fuel cut Serbia said yesterday it would cut excise duty on fuel prices in a bid to offer relief to consumers and to prevent a spillover effect on inflation. The decision goes against the central bank’s advice not to interfere with market forces. «The Finance Ministry will ask the government on Thursday to approve a reduction in fuel excise duty by 3.0 dinars per liter. This will cost the state 3.2 billion dinars ($47 million) in lost revenue,» Finance Minister Mladjan Dinkic told reporters, but did not say over what period. «We will also ask the government to simultaneously approve the same amount of savings elsewhere to keep the whole operation neutral as far as inflation is concerned.» (Reuters) Germanos in Serbia Listed mobile retailer Germanos announced the establishment of a 100 percent subsidiary in Serbia & Montenegro, called Sunlight Trading. Based in Belgrade, the new firm will sell (in wholesale and retail) batteries and photovoltaic systems as well as electric and electronic appliances, and provide relevant services.