In Brief

Bank reserves to help budget meet revenue target Local banks and Greek-based branches of foreign banks will have to pay the state a total of 220 million euros, after a law voted yesterday in Parliament applies a special 10 to 15 percent tax on previously untaxed reserves. The tax has to be paid by the year’s end in two installments, the first by November 30 and the second by December 29, in order to be incorporated in this year’s budget. Regency nine-month profit drops 13.5 percent Hotel and casino operator Regency Entertainment reported a 13.5 percent drop in nine-month group net profit yesterday, as one-off gains reported last year were not repeated. The company, which changed its name from Hyatt Regency and is majority owned by private equity fund BC Partners, said net profit fell to 53.6 million euros from 62 million euros a year earlier. Last year’s nine-month figures were boosted by a 17 million euro gain from the sale of its 20.1 percent stake in Lampsa Hotels, the company said in a statement. Group gross sales, on which the government levies a gaming tax of around 32 percent, rose 7.7 percent to 243.4 million euros. Mount Parnes, the only casino in Athens and 34.3 percent owned by Hyatt, posted a 12.6 percent rise in H1 gross sales to 119.8 million euros. The company also operates a casino and a hotel in Thessaloniki. Ankara’s borrowing Turkey’s borrowing on international markets this year has reached about $5.85 billion with the latest $750 million tap of its 2036 Eurobond, the Treasury said yesterday. It had set a target of $5.5 billion borrowing this year and said last month when it made a 2025 Eurobond issue that it had neared this level and that in the remainder of this year it would monitor markets for the purpose of 2007 pre-financing. The Treasury said the yield on the new 2036 issue was set at 7.38 percent and the reoffer price was 93.96, giving a spread of 265 basis points over the corresponding US Treasury. The statement said sales of the issue consisted of 35 percent to investors in Europe, 33 percent in Turkey, 29 percent in the United States and 3 percent in other regions. (Reuters) Romanian CPI Romania’s inflation rate slowed to 4.8 percent on-year in October from 5.48 percent the month before, the country’s National Statistics Institute said yesterday. Month-to-month inflation was, however, up 0.21 percent in October, higher than 0.05 percent in September, due to price hikes in services and consumer goods. In the first 10 months of the year, inflation was 2.98 percent, almost three percentage points below the International Monetary Fund’s forecast of 5.7 percent for 2006. The central bank wants to cut inflation from 8.6 percent in 2005 to under 6 percent this year. Romanian authorities have been trying to reduce inflation without reducing the pace of economic expansion. (AP) Tanker order South Korea’s STX Shipbuilding Co said yesterday it has won a 129.1 billion won ($138.4 million) order to build two crude oil tankers for an unidentified Greek firm. The ships would be delivered by July 2009, STX said in a filing with the Korea Exchange. (Reuters)

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