ECONOMY

In Brief

Marfin Popular Bank profits up 164 percent Marfin Popular Bank (MPB) said yesterday group net profits grew 164 percent to 343.1 million euros on rising loan volumes in Greece and Cyprus. Net interest income rose 47 percent to 333 million euros with net interest margin widening 32 basis points to 2.94 percent. Loans were up 37 percent to 15.2 billion euros, MPB said. MPB is the result of a three-way merger in 2006 of Greece’s Marfin Financial Group, Egnatia Bank and Cyprus’s Laiki Bank. (Reuters) Montenegro GDP Montenegro’s gross domestic product grew 6.9 percent in January-July 2007, compared to the same period last year, the central bank’s chief economist Nikola Fabris said yesterday. «According to preliminary data provided by the Secretariat for Development, in the first six months of the year GDP was 922.5 million euros, a real growth of 6.9 percent compared to the same period last year,» Fabris told a news conference. The nation of some 650,000, the world’s youngest state, has attracted great investor interest, especially in tourism and real-estate, since voting to leave its union with Serbia in May 2006. It posted full-year GDP growth of 8.2 percent last year. The tourism boom was still on track, the central bank’s report showed, with tourism revenues 75.1 percent up in the first half of 2007 compared with the same period last year. (Reuters) Cyprus output Industrial production in Cyprus rose by 2.7 percent year-on-year in the first half of the year, compared with a 0.6 percent drop in the corresponding period of 2006, the statistics department said yesterday. Industrial production in June rose 4.5 percent year-on-year. (Reuters)