Piraeus Bank 9-month net seen up 42 pct Piraeus Bank, Greece’s fourth-largest lender, is expected to post a 42 percent jump in its nine-month net profit, thanks to strong credit growth and one-off gains from the sale of a stake in a Cypriot bank. Nine analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast a group net profit of 486 million euros, with estimates ranging from 479 to 490 million euros. «Growing lending both in Greece and in Southeast Europe is the main driver behind the increase in nine-month earnings,» said analyst Petros Tsiourtis at Alpha Finance. Piraeus Bank, which expects full-year profits to top 620 million euros, up from 435 million last year, is also expected to announce its updated 2007-10 business plan on October 31. (Reuters) Alogoskoufis says reforms shield economy Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said yesterday the government’s reform program was the best shield against any negative developments on the international economy. Speaking on the sidelines of the joint World Bank and IMF meeting in Washington, he said, «As long as we promote reforms for growth and competitiveness, the Greek economy will continue doing well and be able to utilize the large opportunities emerging in Southeastern Europe.» Alogoskoufis said the impact from the subprime loan crisis in the USA was likely to continue on global growth. He said Greece was committed to contributing to the World Bank’s effort to aid very poor countries. Turkey FDI Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday Turkey was set to see record foreign direct investment (FDI) this year and complete a raft of privatizations by 2009. «We received $20 billion in FDI in 2006. As of the end of 2007, we expect to receive $25 billion,» he said at a conference in London. Ankara had said earlier it was aiming at FDI of $20 billion this year after last year’s record figure. The banking sector has seen a series of takeovers by foreigners and now analysts say financial services and consumer-related sectors are likely to attract more attention. «We aim to complete by 2009 projects to privatize electricity and power generation, Turkish Airlines, Halkbank and other public banks, roads, and other companies including sugar and tobacco,» Erdogan said. (Reuters) Cyprus tourist revenues Cyprus’s revenues from tourism grew 6.6 percent from January to August year-on-year to 743.1 million Cyprus pounds ($1.8 billion), the statistics department said yesterday. In August alone, revenues from tourism hit 179.1 million Cyprus pounds and were 15.5 percent above August 2006 figures. Vietnam mission A traders’ mission by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam is visiting the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday morning to have contacts with Greek businesspeople. For more information, call 210.338.2256 or visit www.acci.gr.