ECONOMY

In Brief

National Bank goes for full coverage of rights issue National Bank of Greece said yesterday it signed a deal with a group of investment banks to ensure full coverage of its 3.0-billion-euro ($3.85 billion) rights issue to finance the buyout of Turkish Finansbank. National said Citigroup Global Markets, Credit Suisse Securities Europe, Goldman Sachs International, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan Securities agreed to cover any new shares the Greek bank will issue that existing shareholders do not take up. Based on the deal signed on June 5, any leftover shares will be placed at a price not below 22.11 euros, the price National set for its 4-for-10 rights offering. National got shareholder approval for the mammoth capital increase earlier this month. In April, National inked a deal to buy 46 percent of Finansbank for 2.3 billion euros as part of its regional expansion strategy. (Reuters) Istanbul index falls to eight-month low ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s main share index fell nearly 4 percent yesterday to its lowest close since November 2005 as investors fretted about losses in foreign markets and the impact of an aggressive rate hike on economic growth. The ISE National-100 index closed 3.73 percent lower at 35,338.66, off an intraday low of 35,275 as analysts worried that the 175-basis-point rise in key interest rates would hit Turkish companies’ growth plans. AIA Athens International Airport (AIA), which the government plans to float on the Athens Stock Exchange next year, said yesterday that pretax profit last year grew 31 percent to 61.8 million euros. The five-year-old operator said revenues rose 0.5 percent to 331.4 million euros, with traffic up 4.5 percent on 2004, when Athens hosted the Olympic Games, to 14.28 million passengers. (Reuters) Jetliner order Boeing Co said in New York yesterday that Turkey’s Sky Airlines had ordered three of its Next-Generation 737-900ER jetliners, worth $226 million at list prices. Sky is the first European carrier to order the 737-900ER model, which Boeing launched in 2005 as a higher-capacity, longer-range complement to its 737 family of single-aisle planes. Sky also took purchase rights for two additional 737-900ERs, which it could exercise at a later date, Boeing said. (Reuters) Cyprus inflation Cyprus’s EU harmonized inflation was running at 2.5 percent year on year in May, unchanged from the April reading, the statistics department said yesterday. The HICP tracker considerably underperformed the broader consumer price index, which was running at 3.13 percent year-on-year in May. For the January-May 2006 period HICP increased by 2.4 percent compared to the same period of 2005, the statistics department said. (Reuters)