ECONOMY

In Brief

NBG’s new shares to start trading on July 11 National Bank’s new shares from a rights issue to finance a big acquisition in Turkey will start trade on July 11, the Athens Stock Exchange said yesterday. Greece’s largest lender tapped the market for 3 billion euros ($3.8 billion) to finance the acquisition of Turkey’s Finansbank as part of its regional expansion. The rights issue was oversubscribed and ended on July 5. The group issued more than 135.7 million new shares, four-for-10 at 22.10 euros each. National Bank clinched a deal in April to buy 46 percent in midsized Finansbank for 2.3 billion euros, eyeing growth opportunities in Turkey. (Reuters) Turkey scraps withholding tax for foreign investors ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s president has approved a law scrapping a withholding tax for non-residents investing in shares and bonds in the country, his office said in a statement. Turkey’s Parliament approved the law late last month in a bid to calm markets after the lira lost about a fifth of its value in the foreign exchange market. The lira has since regained some ground. «President Ahmet Necdet Sezer sent the law… to the prime minister’s office for publication,» the short statement said. The law also reduces withholding tax for residents to 10 percent from 15 percent. The withholding tax for deposits and repos will remain at 15 percent for both residents and non-residents. Cyprus rates Cyprus’s central bank kept interest rates unchanged at 3.25 percent for the 12th straight month yesterday, saying economic conditions did not warrant an adjustment. «The Monetary Policy Committee noted that domestic and international economic developments did not justify any adjustment,» governor Christodoulos Christodoulou told reporters. Headline inflation was running at an annual 3.02 percent in June from a May reading of 3.13 percent, and the market had not been anticipating an adjustment. The central bank has not altered rates since a 50-basis point cut in June 2005. That move was taken to curb a rising Cyprus pound breaking the upper limit of its 2.25 percent fluctuation band around the euro. The pound is in the ERM2 euro preparation mechanism and authorities hope to join the eurozone in January 2008. A decision to lock the Cyprus pound irrevocably against the euro for exchange rate purposes was expected to be made «next May or June,» Christodoulou said. (Reuters) Industrial output Greek industrial output rose marginally in May over a year ago, rebounding from a 1.9 percent drop in the previous month, thanks to higher mining and electricity production, the country’s statistics service said yesterday. «The industrial output expansion in May was mainly driven by natural gas, water and electricity production. Manufacturing contracted, which is not positive, but still remains on a positive course for the year. The contraction was due to lower textiles output. Looking ahead, recent PMI data indicated the country should have stronger industrial growth and a rebound in manufacturing» said Michael Labrianos, economist at Piraeus Bank. (Reuters) Bond auction Greece’s Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) said yesterday it will auction 1.1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) of three-year, 3.4 percent bonds on July 11. The settlement date for the bonds, maturing June 21 2009, will be July 14, with only primary dealers allowed to participate. No commission will be paid for the bonds auctioned. (Reuters)