In Brief

EU gives Greece final warning on dividend taxes BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission issued Greece a final warning yesterday to abolish what it called the discriminatory taxation of dividends paid out by foreign companies, or face court action. Greece exempts dividends paid by Greek companies to individuals, but taxes those paid by companies from other EU countries. The Commission said in a statement this was an example of discrimination in breach of EU rules. Yield drops in Greek three-year bond auction Greece’s reopening of three-year, 3.4 percent government paper met with strong demand yesterday with the auction in one of the eurozone’s highest yielders covered 5.42 times. The auction produced a weighted average yield of 3.64 percent, down from 3.73 percent in a previous July auction. The country’s Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) sold a total of 1.080 billion euros of the bond, topping off the original amount of 900 million euros with 180 million of non-competitive bids. «Primary dealers snapped up the issue to fulfill the central bank’s criteria and remain primary dealers, hence the strong demand,» said a bond trader at a large Greek bank. «It is Greece’s penultimate issue this year.» (Reuters) Turkey spending Turkey’s 2007 budget expenditure is set at 204.9 billion lira (110 billion euros), down from an expected 207 billion lira, and revenues are at 188.2 billion lira, the Finance Ministry said in a statement yesterday. The budget’s primary surplus and the budget deficit are projected at 36.2 billion and 16.7 billion lira respectively, said the statement. It also predicted tax revenue of 158.2 billion lira and 17 billion lira transfers to local administrations. (Reuters) Turk jewelry Gold jewelry exports from Turkey, the world’s second-largest jewelry exporter, fell 27.7 percent by volume year-on-year in the first nine months of the year, exporters’ data showed yesterday. In financial terms, gold jewelry exports fell 7.27 percent to $661.13 million, the Turkish Association of Jewelers (TAJ) said. (Reuters) Romania investment Foreign investment in Romania will exceed 6.2 billion euros in 2006, a government agency said yesterday. That figure, which does not include the proceeds from the 3.75-billion-euro sale of Romania’s Commercial Bank to Austria’s Erste Bank AG, compares with 6.5 billion euros last year in foreign direct investment, mainly in the banking sector, utilities, services and the real estate market, said Florin Vasilache, secretary-general for the Romanian Agency for Foreign Investments. (AP) TEN Tsakos Energy Navigation yesterday announced the delivery of the 1A ice-class 116,000 dwt Aframax product tanker Propontis and the 1A ice-class 36,660 dwt Handysize product tanker Arion from South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard respectively. On delivery, the Propontis, one of the world’s largest product tankers, entered a two-year time charter with Neste Oil of Finland.