ECONOMY

In Brief

Romania plans second nuclear power plant CERNAVODA (Reuters) – Romania plans to build a second nuclear power plant after the completion of two more reactors at its Cernavoda plant on the Danube River, Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu said yesterday. Romania has set an October 25 deadline to receive binding bids for the license to build and operate units 3 and 4 in Cernavoda, an investment estimated at 2.2 billion euros. «After we complete units 3 and 4 we must continue to develop the nuclear system in Romania,» Tariceanu told reporters in Cernavoda after the official opening of the the plant’s second reactor. «We must already start to think about where we will have the next nuclear power plant in Romania,» he said. With the second reactor entering commercial use yesterday, nuclear power will supply roughly 18 percent of total energy needs in Romania. Tariceanu also said the Cernavoda plant, which was initially designed to have five reactors, will stop at four due to «insufficient technical capacity.» HDFS to buy 51.9 pct stake in apparel retailer Hellenic Duty Free Shops (HDFS) said yesterday it will buy a majority stake in apparel retailer Elmec Sport for 115 million euros. HDFS, majority-owned by Greek jeweler Folli-Folli, has exclusive rights to run duty-free retail stores at border crossings in Greece until 2048. It had revenues of 300 million euros last year. «The deal is expected to boost HDFS turnover considerably,» an analyst who declined to be named said. Elmec operates department stores and sells Harley Davidson apparel in Greece. It had sales of 181 million euros last year. (Reuters) New CEO at TT The Finance Ministry said yesterday Angelos Philippidis will replace Panos Tsoupidis as chief executive at state-controlled Postal Savings Bank (TT). Philippidis, formerly CEO of Greek soccer club Panathinaikos SA from 2000-03, has also worked for Emporiki Bank as general manager of its brokerage arm and head of its venture capital unit Emporiki Capital in 1994. Greece plans to divest part of its 45 percent holding in TT, the country’s sixth-largest lender. (Reuters) Turkish stocks surge Turkish shares ended at a record high and the lira currency soared to a fresh six-year peak against the dollar yesterday amid increased hopes of an early interest rate cut and stronger economic growth. The main Istanbul stock index ended up 3.4 percent, or 1,877.07 points, at 56,792.97 points. Trade volume was also very firm at 3.43 billion lira. «Expectations of a rate cut are strengthening. The global market situation is also continuing to have a positive effect on the share index,» said Umit Sener of Investment Finansman. (Reuters) Bulgaria growth Bulgaria’s Finance Ministry said it expected the economy to expand by a real 6.3-6.5 percent this year, up from a previous forecast of 6 percent. Rising investment accelerated economic growth to a real 6.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, bringing its first-half year growth to 6.4 percent. Bulgaria’s gross domestic product rose 6.1 percent in 2006. The World Bank and rating agency Standard & Poor’s have said Bulgaria was one of the European countries most vulnerable to a halt in financial flows due to global tighter liquidity conditions. (Reuters)