ECONOMY

In Brief

RWE says it’s still keen on cooperation with Greek peer FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German utility RWE said yesterday it was keen on a cooperation deal with the biggest Greek power utility, Public Power Corporation (PPC), a day after a government official in Athens cast doubts on the deal. An RWE spokesman said, «We are in talks with PPC about an operational cooperation, but not interested in taking a stake in PPC.» A senior government official in Greece said on Sunday PPC was unlikely to get government approval for a partnership deal with RWE. RWE yesterday declined comment on that statement. PPC is seeking partners to help it expand its power production activities in the Southeast European region, while RWE under its new chief executive Juergen Grossmann aims to invest in energy production abroad. IMG urges Turkey to use more fiscal discipline WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund yesterday urged Turkey to restore fiscal discipline and an economic reform program, saying the country had lagged on policy implementation in recent months. The IMF’s mission chief to Turkey, Lorenzo Giorgianni, told a conference call Turkey should ensure that the government’s primary surplus target of 5.5 percent of gross national product is achieved. Any future interest rate cuts should be moderate and gradual and should depend on progress in lowering inflation expectations toward the 4 percent official target, he added. Separately, a spokesman in Ankara said Turkey’s government will send a crucial revised social security reform to parliament this week. Jumbo profit up 23.9 pct Greece’s largest toy retailer, Jumbo, said yesterday net profit for its fiscal first quarter rose 23.9 percent, on higher profit margins and increased brand awareness. Jumbo, which also sells stationery and items for the home, said in a bourse filing that net profit was about 13.24 million euros ($19.40 million) in the three months to end-September compared to 10.69 million in the same period last year. Sales grew 18.3 percent to 89.4 million euros, exceeding its target for a 12-15 percent increase for fiscal 2008. Jumbo operates 39 stores in Greece and Cyprus and is pushing to have its first new store in Bulgaria open in time for the peak Christmas sales period. (Reuters) One buyer for DDOR Italy’s Fondiaria-SAI is the sole bidder in a tender for Serbia’s second-biggest insurer DDOR, Serbian government officials said yesterday. They said the Italian firm would have 90 days to negotiate a deal. The government is selling an 83.319 percent stake in unlisted DDOR, which comprises shares owned by the state, four institutional stakeholders and equity held by more than 1,400 small shareholders. The purchase of DDOR gives the buyer access to about 30 percent market share in Serbia’s fast-growing insurance market and to a 15 percent stake in small bank Metals Banka. (Reuters) BoC buys Ukrainian bank Bank of Cyprus said yesterday it had acquired 95 percent of Ukraine’s AvtoZAZ Bank share capital for 52 million euros ($76.5 million). AvtoZAZ has 26 branches and employs 365 people. (Reuters)