ECONOMY

In Brief

Ankara steps up talks with non-Russian gas exporters ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey is stepping up talks with gas exporters Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Iran to put projects on stream in the face of Russian Gazprom’s expansion in the region, energy officials said yesterday. Turkish and EU energy plans for the Nabucco pipeline, which would cross Turkey, were rattled last month after Gazprom announced a deal with Italian energy company Eni to construct a pipeline that would enter Bulgaria via the Black Sea. «Turkey has made contacts with the Turkmen and they will be ending with some kind of result. Included is a framework within which we can carry Turkmen gas through Iran or bring to life the Trans-Caspian pipeline,» said a high-level energy official. Both Iran and Azerbaijan want to be part of the project, said the energy official, however a new pipeline would be necessary if gas is channelled through the Azeri infrastructure and into Turkey along the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum (BTE) pipeline. Turkish exports seen above $100 mln target ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish exports will surpass a $100 billion government target in 2007, Foreign Trade Minister Kursad Tuzmen said yesterday. In 2006, Turkish exports reached $85.142 billion. «Our exports rose 24 percent to $49.4 billion in the first six months of 2007… We take it as granted that our exports will exceed $100 billion at the end of the year with this momentum,» the text of a speech by Tuzmen to exporters said. Exports support the Turkish manufacturing industry as high interest rates crimp domestic demand. «Exports provide morale for Turkey and act as growth’s dynamo… Turkey has no alternative other than exports,» Tuzmen said. Despite a fast rise in exports, the Turkish trade deficit keeps widening, leaving the economy more vulnerable to swings in investor mood. Cyprus trade deficit Cyprus’s trade deficit from January to May hit 1.23 billion Cyprus pounds (US$2.86 billion) compared to 1.01 billion in the respective period of 2006, Statistics Department preliminary figures showed yesterday. Total exports decreased to 275 million Cyprus pounds from 291 million Cyprus pounds and imports rose to 1.4 billion Cyprus pounds from 1.3 billion Cyprus pounds in the respective period of 2006. (Reuters) CYTA profit up Cyprus’s state-owned telephone operator CYTA said yesterday its pretax profit rose 29 percent in 2006 on the back of increased turnover and cost-containing measures. Pretax profit rose to 93 million Cyprus pounds ($216.3 million) from 72 million in 2005. Operating costs were flat at 210 million pounds. The operator has faced increasing competition from independent operators in recent years but has maintained its market dominance in both mobile and fixed-line telephony. Total investment in 2006 was 54 million Cyprus pounds. (Reuters) Dogan Yayin-Time deal Turkish media group Dogan Yayin Holding said yesterday its unit Dogan TV had made a broadcasting deal with Time Warner Inc. Dogan did not give any details of the deal. (Reuters)