ECONOMY

In Brief

Minister says Cyprus inflation an acute problem NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus remains relatively unscathed from global financial turbulence but high inflation relative to other eurozone members is a key concern, European Central Bank Governing Council member Athanassios Orphanides said yesterday. «In 2007 and to date, the Cypriot economy has not been negatively affected by adverse financial developments internationally,» Orphanides, who heads the Cyprus central bank, told a news conference. He said inflation could harm economic competitiveness on the island if it continued to outpace the average of the eurozone. Cyprus, which adopted the euro on January 1, 2008, recorded a 4.4 percent inflation rate in March, compared to the eurozone’s average of 3.6 percent. Eurobank sets up Bulgarian brokerage EFG Eurobank, Greece’s second-biggest bank, set up a brokerage and investment unit in neighboring Bulgaria to tap demand for financial services. EFG Securities Bulgaria, which received a full license in December, will offer stock brokerage and trading services as well as capital market services, according to an e-mailed statement from Athens-based Eurobank. The unit will offer debt and equity financing and merger and acquisition services with a focus on large infrastructure and energy projects, it said. (Bloomberg) Turkey gold project Canada’s Anatolia Minerals Development Ltd said on Wednesday that the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forestry has granted it an environmental permit for its Copler gold project, sending its shares higher. The small Canadian mining company said it expects the certificate to be formally issued in about 30 days. It allows the company to enter final negotiations to secure forestland leases from the ministry and proceed with other associated permits. In the first phase of development, Anatolia expects to produce 1.8 million ounces of gold and 2.2 million ounces of silver as it mines the open-pit portion of the deposit over 10 years. (Reuters) Turk Telekom Partly state-owned Turk Telekom, which is slated for an initial public offering (IPO) next month, posted a 6 percent rise in 2007 net profit to 3.158 billion lira ($2.38 billion), government officials said. The former fixed-line monopoly, which was partly privatized in 2005, plans to list a 15 percent stake on the stock market next month in a further privatization that the state has budgeted to raise 3.9 billion lira. Saudi Oger bought a controlling stake in Turk Telekom in the first stage of its privatization in 2005, for $6.55 billion, leaving the rest with the state. (Reuters) OA – Air Berlin Olympic Airlines yesterday announced a partnership with German carrier Air Berlin, which will enable Greek travelers to continue on to six other German destinations from the capital (Bremen, Dresden, Cologne, Hamburg, Hanover and Munster). Return fares begin at 180, but they exclude airport taxes and fuel surcharges and are for a limited number of seats. Turkish lira Turkey’s lira weakened to a fresh two-week low yesterday as foreign currency demand before the central bank’s interest rate decision added to downward pressure generated by political uncertainty. The lira eased 0.6 percent to 1.3270 against the dollar on the interbank market, compared with a close of 1.3190 on Wednesday. (Reuters)