In Brief

Private investment declines in 2007, against forecasts Greek private investment in industry declined 6.8 percent in 2007, in contrast with an average 7.6 percent rise in the rest of the European Union, except for Bulgaria and Romania, the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said in a report yesterday. The results were based on firms’ projections in October-November 2007, when the survey was conducted, and contrasted sharply with a projected rise of 9.8 percent in a study carried out early in 2007. The decline affected all sectors except textiles, where the projection was for a 24.2 percent rise. Investment in the public sector was up 6 percent. Prospects for 2008 appear especially positive in the study, as private investment is seen rising 19.1 percent, while public enterprises project a 26.4 percent decline. Turkish 2008 growth forecast slips to 4.7 pct Turkey’s economy will probably expand 4.7 percent in 2008, the lowest forecast this year, a central bank survey of economists and businessmen showed. The estimate fell from the previous survey two weeks ago, when the average forecast was 4.8 percent, and from 5 percent at the start of January. The economy grew 1.5 percent in the third quarter of 2007, its slowest pace since 2001, and industrial production fell in December for the first time in two years. Inflation in 12 months will be 5.99 percent, down from the previous survey two weeks ago, when the average forecast was 6 percent, the bank said. The inflation rate will decline to 5.2 percent in two years, compared with the previous forecast of 5.17 percent, according to the fortnightly survey of about 80 businessmen and economists. (Bloomberg) Alternative market launch The Athens Exchange launched its alternative market ENA for fast-growing small companies with its first listing yesterday. Software company Epsilon-Net was the first to list on ENA after a private placement of 560,000 shares, or 10 percent of its share capital, at 3 euros each which raised 1.68 million euros. ENA listing requirements are looser compared to the Athens bourse’s regular market, designed to give small companies access to capital to fund their development and groom them for a later transfer to the main market. There is one hour of continuous trading on ENA, from 3.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. local time. (Reuters) Turk talks with RWE Turkish energy-to-media conglomerate Ciner Group is in partnership talks with German utility RWE, a senior Ciner source said yesterday. But the source denied a report in business daily Referans that the firms had already agreed to form a partnership whereby RWE would buy shares in Ciner’s energy businesses, news that had earlier boosted shares in Ciner’s Park Elektrik. (Reuters)