ECONOMY

In Brief

Minister urges banks to stick to the law Speaking at a presentation of a bank consumer survey yesterday, Development Minister Christos Folias urged banks to eliminate 14 controversial contractual terms found by courts to be abusive and illegal, as this would boost their credibility and transparency in transactions. According to the GPO survey, conducted among 2,000 respondents on behalf of the General Secretariat for Consumers, some two-thirds of Greeks have not taken out bank loans and nearly 70 percent agree or «basically agree» that banks operate beyond any government control. Three-quarters face little or no difficulty in repaying loans and 87 percent little or no difficulty in paying credit card installments. Eighty percent disagree or «basically disagree» that banks are concerned about the rest of society, but about half of the respondents took the view that banks contribute to the development of the Greek economy. Romania’s Petrom in power plant deal with GE and Metka BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania’s largest oil and gas firm Petrom signed a deal with a consortium made of General Electric Co and Greece’s Metka to build a power plant by September 2011, the company said. The value of the deal was 400 million euros and the facility, which will be built in the southern town of Brazi, will use natural gas. It is expected to reach a power output of over 860 megawatts. About 20 percent of the plant’s capacity will be used to cover Petrom’s energy consumption, while the rest will be sold on the Romanian energy market. Construction is expected to start at the beginning of next year. The company wants to provide up to 9 percent of Romania’s electricity output by 2012. IKEA bid unwanted? The privatization agency of Bosnia’s Muslim Croat federation on Friday called a joint venture tender for furniture maker Krivaja, which has attracted the interest of IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer. A previous tender for Krivaja, located in the town of Zavidovici, was scrapped after IKEA sent a letter of intent saying it wanted to buy the entire company and was willing to make a significant investment and keep all 1,904 employees. IKEA has no production plants in the Balkans. The new tender is available at www.apf.gov. Applications are due by April 29. (Reuters) Delhaize in Bucharest Belgian supermarket group Delhaize said yesterday it had entered an agreement to acquire 14 supermarkets in Romania’s capital Bucharest. The purchase price for the holding company of the supermarkets is 18.6 million euros. Delhaize said the acquisition would allow its subsidiary Mega Image to strengthen its position in Bucharest. The Belgian group said it was estimated that the revenues of the 14 acquired stores amounted to about 30 million euros ($47.29 million). (Reuters) Turkey foreign debt The Turkish treasury said yesterday Turkey’s overall foreign debt stock, including public and private sector debt, ended last year at $247.2 billion. It did not give a comparison, but previous data put the figure at $237.3 billion for the end of the third quarter. Private sector debt accounted for $158 billion, or 63.9 percent of the total, and public sector debt amounted to $73.4 billion. The rest was owed by the central bank. (Reuters)