In Brief

Ankara seeks to avert airline strike ANKARA (Reuters) – The Turkish government has set up a commission to try to prevent a strike at Turkish Airlines (THY), Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin said yesterday. A union representing Turkish Airlines workers has announced plans to strike and will announce the date either today or tomorrow. The cabinet has the power to postpone any strike at strategic companies, including Turkish Airlines. «We will try to help the two sides reach an agreement,» Sahin told a news conference. Union leaders are demanding higher wages and expanded benefits, The partly privatized company said previously that its passenger numbers rose 19.4 percent in the first half of the year to 8.9 million. Turkey assets post gains as global fears subside ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish markets posted gains yesterday as fears of continued major turbulence in the global financial markets subsided. The lira firmed 2.1 percent to close at 1.2760 to the dollar on the interbank market from Friday’s 1.3030. The main Istanbul stock index edged up 2.21 percent to 50,272.52 points. The yield on the benchmark May 6, 2009 bond fell to 17.62 percent from 17.70 percent. Traders, however, say Turkey remains vulnerable to possible global turbulence in the coming days. «There is foreign exchange liquidity at the moment but it looks that it will gradually lessen… many foreign funds have investments in Turkey but if the main (lending) centres convert these funds to liquid, then we will have a serious turbulence,» said a trader. The country’s high interest rates lure investment funds looking for a high return. Bobov Dol The Bulgarian government yesterday announced a new tender for the privatization of the lignite-fired power complex of Bobov Dol, blaming Greece’s Public Power Corporation (PPC) for failing to meet the terms of the previous tender which it had won and which was annulled. The country’s highest administrative court had vindicated PPC. HBA The Hellenic Bank Association has launched its upgraded website, with detailed information on all banks’ interest rates and commission charges, and links to the agency that monitors clients’ credit rating and the bank ombudsman. Cyprus trade deficit Cyprus’s trade deficit in the first half of 2007 increased to 1.4 billion Cyprus pounds ($3.2 billion) from 1.3 billion Cyprus pounds in the first half of 2006, the Statistics Department said yesterday. (Reuters) KEO Cyprus’s Church-controlled brewery KEO posted a 215 percent increase in its half-year pre-tax profits yesterday, bolstered by an increase in beer, wine and juice sales, it said. The company said half-year pre-tax profit rose to 403,000 Cyprus pounds ($959,523) from 128,000 pounds in the first half of 2006. Turnover rose 7.7 percent to 16.74 million Cyprus pounds. Cyprus’s Orthodox Church directly controls an 18.9 percent stake in KEO. (Reuters)