ECONOMY

In Brief

Greek merchant fleet remains buoyant Greek shipping companies maintained the top spot in the world maritime business in October, ordering more than 30 vessels, worth $1.1 billion in October, bringing the total in the 10 months of 2006 to $14.5 billion, according to data supplied by George Moundreas & Co. The Greek-managed commercial fleet now numbers 3,397 vessels, totaling a capacity of 190,058,535 dwt. Their average age is 15.3 years, with the Greek-flagged vessels even lower, at 11.7 years. The Greek shipowners focus on tankers and bulk carriers, which they mostly order at South Korean, Chinese and Japanese shipbuilders. Turk minister sees over $20 bln in FDI in 2007 LONDON (Reuters) – Turkey expects to receive over $20 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2007, the country’s Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan said yesterday. «We expect over $20 billion in FDI in 2007,» Unakitan told reporters on the sidelines of an investment conference in London. «The current account deficit is going to be high again (in 2007) but it will be decreasing… no matter what happens on energy prices the current account deficit trend is decreasing. But if energy prices go down more, the deficit will decrease more,» he said. Unakitan also said the country’s reform process would remain on track despite elections next year, with the primary surplus target of 6.5 percent to be met. Rokas Rokas, Greece’s biggest wind-power firm, was given the green light by the government to build a new wind-powered electricity plant in central Greece, financial daily Naftemporiki reported yesterday. Rokas will build a 42-megawatt plant in the central region of Fthiotida for about 43 million euros ($54.94 million) and will receive a subsidy of about 30 percent, or 13.5 million euros, the paper said. Rokas operates 13 wind parks with a total capacity of 193.3 megawatts in the regions of Crete, Evia, Thrace, Kos, and Leros, the newspaper reported. The company accounts for about 40 percent of Greece’s total wind power capacity. Spanish power utility Iberdrola holds a 49.9 percent stake in Rokas. (Reuters) IKEA in Romania Sweden’s IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer, plans to open its first store in Romania next year, an investment of 10 million euros ($12.71 million), company officials said yesterday. The furniture retailer’s arrival comes amid a boom in Romania’s housing market. Analysts say spending on home refurbishment should continue to grow as people seek to improve living standards after decades of spartan life under communism. The launch of the store is scheduled for the end of March or the beginning of next April, said Cornel Oprisan, retail manager of IKEA Romania. IKEA, known for its stylish, flat-pack designs, said the store on the outskirts of Bucharest was expected to employ around 400 people. Around 7,000 products will be on sale, Oprisan said. The family-owned Swedish company has 237 stores in 34 countries on four continents. (Reuters)