ECONOMY

In Brief

Alogoskoufis targets investment on NY visit Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis is taking part in a conference on the Greek economy in New York City tomorrow. He is accompanied by his deputy, Petros Doukas, the Athens bourse president, Spyros Kapralos, and other top economic officials. Alogoskoufis will also conduct a series of meetings with representatives of institutional investors and US businesspeople with a view to attracting investment to Greece. Lamda Development to speed up investment plans Lamda Development is to invest 400 million euros in Greece, neighboring Balkan countries, Russia and Ukraine over the next two years, officials said. The firm’s top priorities include the speeding up of projects still in the phase of licensing, such as the conversion of the Olympic International Broadcasting Center (IBC) into a mall, the development of an office block in Bucharest and the construction of a mall-cum-residential block in Sofia. Bulgarian C/A Bulgaria’s current account deficit widened by 186.2 million euros in September, compared with a 142-million-euro gap increase for the same month in 2005, the central bank said. The current account gap at the end of the third quarter reached 2.094 billion euros, or 8.7 percent of gross domestic product. The continued widening of the current account deficit was mainly the result of the growing foreign trade deficit, which reached 3.456 billion euros, or 14.3 percent of GDP, for the January-September period. Direct foreign investment for the same period was 2.85 billion euros, or 11.8 percent of GDP. (AP) Croat port The World Bank has granted Croatia a $75.3 million loan to upgrade the country’s second-largest port of Ploce in the southern Adriatic, the bank said in a statement yesterday. The loan is for a period of 15 years, including a five-year grace period, it said. Ploce is an important point of access to the sea for neighboring Bosnia, which does not have its own ports, and for landlocked Hungary in the north. (Reuters) Romania inflation The Romanian central bank said in its quarterly inflation report inflation would fall to 4.7 percent in December from October’s 4.8 percent. It also said higher-than-expected fiscal relaxation and labor market tightening threatened disinflation next year. In mid-2008, higher tobacco taxes were likely to boost inflation briefly, the report said. Earlier central bank Governor Mugur Isarescu said the bank has kept its inflation targets for 2007 and 2008 at 3-5 percent and 2.8-4.8 percent, respectively. (Reuters) Garanti Bank Turkey’s Garanti Bank mandated an international banking consortium for a two-year $700 million syndicated loan deal, an Istanbul Stock Exchange bulletin said yesterday. The consortium is composed of 22 international banks. There were no other details in the bulletin. (Reuters)