ECONOMY

In Brief

Ex-Emporiki CEO joins Piraeus Bank Giorgos Provopoulos, chief executive of Emporiki Bank until recently, has joined Piraeus Bank as vice chairman, an official at Piraeus said yesterday. A bank spokesman said Provopoulos, who will assume duties next week, will work closely with Michalis Kolakidis and Theodoros Pantalakis, also vice chairmen of the board at Piraeus. The bank’s board is expected to officially approve the appointment next week. Provopoulos left Emporiki after the bank was taken over by France’s Credit Agricole in August this year. Agricole appointed Jean Frederic de Leusse as Emporiki’s new chairman and Christian Jacques as chief executive to replace Provopoulos, who held both posts. (Reuters) Botas: Iranian gas resumes flow to Turkey ANKARA (Reuters) – Iran has resumed pumping gas to Turkey after supply was disrupted last week when a key pipeline was sabotaged, an official from Turkish state energy company Botas said yesterday. The official told Reuters that gas resumed flowing on Tuesday after tests showed that the quality of the gas from Iran had improved. Turkey suspended buying Iranian gas last week due to quality and maintenance problems. Gas importer Turkey, which has relied on increased shipments of natural gas from Russia since sabotage of the key pipeline last month disturbed the gas flow, also wants to reduce its dependence on Russian gas in the longer term. «The 30 million cubic meters taken from Iran because of cuts in the Iran pipeline will soon be lowered to 22 million cubic meters,» said the official. Russia and Iran are both contracted to provide 22 million cubic metres of natural gas daily to Turkey. Turkish investment Turkey attracted $36.4 billion in foreign capital investment in the first eight months of 2006, Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener said yesterday. Of that total, foreign direct investment amounted to $12.1 billion, Sener told a conference. «Foreign direct investments are financing 54 percent of the current account deficit. Healthy developments in the financing of the current account deficit continue,» he said. He also said oil imports in the first eight months constituted $5.7 billion of Turkey’s $22.4 billion current account deficit, which is a weak spot of Turkey’s fast-growing economy. (Reuters) Bulgaria projects Bulgaria will take loans and provide guarantees for 815 million euros ($1.02 billion) in 2007, its first year of EU membership, for infrastructure projects financed by the bloc, the government said yesterday. Five of the eight projects are part of a 7.6-billion-euro investment plan aimed at fixing Bulgaria’s roads, railways, sewage and waste disposal sites and other infrastructure until 2015. One of the biggest items will be the reconstruction of a railway line to Bulgaria’s Greek-Turkish border worth 360 million euros, the government said. Under the project, the state will take a 150-million-euro loan from the European Investment Bank, while 153 million will be financed by the EU’s ISPA program. The other big project is a road upgrade for which Bulgaria will get 380 million euros. (Reuters)