ECONOMY

In Brief

EU commissioner calls for fiscal discipline to continue Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told Skai television that the European Commission will continue to monitor Greece’s finances even after the end of fiscal supervision. The structural deficit remains far above 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and public debt remains at very high levels. He added that in view of the coming general elections, political leaders should have the political will for further fiscal rehabilitation. Millennium buys National Bank’s P&K fund management The National Bank of Greece said yesterday its subsidiary P&K Securities had sold its fund management unit to Millennium Bank Greece for 1.67 million euros. National Bank said the unit, which managed 13 mutual funds, will continue to run nine funds under the name Millenium, with Diethniki taking over management of the other four. Diethniki is National Bank’s mutual fund management arm. Millennium-Greece is a subsidiary of Portugal’s largest lender Millennium bcp. (Reuters) Turk budget surplus Turkey’s central government budget showed a primary surplus of 1.032 billion lira (568 million euros) in April, against a previously announced surplus of 8.82 billion lira in March, the Finance Ministry said yesterday. The primary surplus for the first four months of the year totals 13.667 billion lira, well above 11.366 billion lira in the same period last year, the ministry said in a statement. The budget for April showed a deficit of 2.048 billion lira, which compares with a surplus of 4.841 billion lira in March. That brought the January to April budget deficit to 5.380 billion lira, wider than the 4.027 billion lira seen last year. (Reuters) Emporiki profits fall Emporiki Bank, majority owned by France’s Credit Agricole, said yesterday its first-quarter net profits fell 64.9 percent year-on-year to 18.3 million euros. The bank said net interest income rose 15 percent to 196.5 million euros. (Reuters) IMF on Turkey The International Monetary Fund’s executive board has set a tentative date of May 18 to discuss the sixth review of Turkey’s multibillion-dollar loan package, it said on its website. Turkey has a $10 billion standby agreement, which has helped the EU-applicant country to recover from a severe economic crisis in 2001. The Treasury said at the start of May it had sent its letter of intent for the sixth review to the fund after a visit from the lender in March. (Reuters) E.ON-Turcas Turkish energy company Turcas said yesterday it had started talks with a unit of German utility E.ON with a view to building two power plants in Turkey. One plant would be coal-fired and the other powered by natural gas, the Turkish company said in a statement to the stock market. Turcas said in April it was conducting feasibility studies to build two power plants with a 1,600 megawatt total capacity with foreign partners. (Reuters)