ECONOMY

In Brief

Tourism receipts lag behind rise in number of visitors The number of foreign visitors arriving by air was up 8.3 percent in June and 8.8 percent in July, the increases being evenly spread among the country’s major destinations, according to the Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasting (ITEP). In the January-July period, the rise was 8.1 percent. The recovery in arrivals was especially marked in the Ionian islands. ITEP notes, however, that the increase in tourism receipts was not commensurate with that of arrivals. In the five months to May, receipts were down 4 percent, against a 3.2 percent rise in arrivals, despite an impressive increase in arrivals from the USA. Bulgarian court clears Fraport airport deal SOFIA (Reuters) – A Bulgarian court said yesterday that French Vinci had no legal grounds to appeal against a government decision to pick Germany’s Fraport for a 35-year concession for two Black Sea airports. The ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court is final and clears the way for Fraport to sign a deal to run and modernize the airports at the cities of Varna and Burgas. The court ruled that the French consortium of Vinci Concessions and Vinci Airports had no legal right to appeal because it had been excluded from the tender at an earlier stage. Fraport has pledged to invest 176 million euros through 2009 and a total of 403 million euros to overhaul the two outdated airports for 35 years and pay an annual fee of 19.2 percent, either in airport taxes or airport concession revenues. Nuclear power plant Bulgaria has received improved offers for the construction of a new nuclear power plant, estimated to cost up to 4 billion euros, the national power utility NETC said. The Balkan country has started negotiations with Russia’s Atomstroyexport and a Czech consortium, Skoda Alliance, for the 2,000-megawatt plant, but last month it threatened to cancel the process if it did not receive better offers. «We have received improved offers from both bidders. We are going to study them and continue the talks,» NETC spokeswoman Neli Stanimirova said. (Reuters) External trade Imports of goods were up 15.8 percent to 3.99 billion euros in June, year-on-year, while exports rose 14 percent to 1.37 billion euros in the same period. Industrial output up Industrial output rose 2.6 percent in June year-on-year, accelerating from a 0.6 percent rise in May, thanks to higher manufacturing activity and increased natural gas production, the National Statistics Service said. (Reuters) Turkish banks Turkish banks’ capital adequacy ratio fell 4.5 percentage points to 18.5 percent on average between April and June due to turbulence in financial markets, the country’s banking watchdog chairman said yesterday. (Reuters)