ECONOMY

In Brief

HATTA denies water shortages on Cycladic islands The Hellenic Association of Tourism and Travel Agents (HATTA) yesterday categorically rebuffed press reports according to which the Cycladic Islands are facing water shortages. «All islands are being supplied with water as normal, and any problems arise from infrastructure projects designed to ensure long-term supplies,» HATTA said in a statement. Capital Partners in $1.5 bln Turk property project LONDON (Reuters) – Private real estate developer Capital Partners said yesterday it was investing $1.5 billion in one of Turkey’s biggest-ever tourism developments. The 4.8-million-square-meter (51.67-million-sq-ft) site in Bozbuk, near Milas in southwest Turkey, will house 2,058 dwellings and five hotels and is due for completion in 2012, the Kazakhstan-registered firm said. The firm declined to provide a breakdown of debt and equity funding but said Kazkommertsbank was its principle banker and financial adviser. Turk gold imports quadruple Gold bullion imports to Turkey, one of the world’s top consumers of the metal, jumped by 328 percent year-on-year in July to 45.7 tons, the highest ever recorded in a month. Gold imports surged by 42.5 percent in the first seven months of the year to 150.5 tons, data from the Istanbul Gold Exchange showed. Gold prices hovering around $660 an ounce, with the wedding season fueling physical demand for bullion and dollar weakness against the Turkish lira, prompted investors to buy more gold. (Reuters) Fitch on Serbia Fitch Ratings yesterday affirmed the Republic of Serbia’s foreign and local currency issuer default ratings (IDRs) at BB- with a stable outlook. The country ceiling is affirmed at BB- and the short-term foreign currency IDR at B. «There have been some notable improvements in Serbia’s measures of sovereign creditworthiness,» says Paul Rawkins, senior director in Fitch’s sovereign team. «Nonetheless, fiscal policy has become more expansionary over the past 12 months, exacerbating macroeconomic imbalances, while the political risk mostly associated with the future status of Kosovo will remain uppermost in the near term.» Dodoni ice cream Greek private equity firm Global Finance yesterday announced the sale of its Dodoni Ice Cream concern to NBGI, the National Bank of Greece’s investment banking arm. No financial details were immediately available. Agritourism Greece’s northwestern Florina prefectural district was declared the best emerging destination for agritourism and one of the most popular among 10 European Union member countries, according to a Development Ministry competition, commissioned as part of the EU program, «European Destinations of Excellence.»