In Brief

Turkey’s Calik completes ATV-Sabah acquisition ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish construction to energy conglomerate Calik Group said it took control of the country’s second-largest media group ATV-Sabah after paying $1.1 billion for the acquisition on Tuesday. The payment was made with a $750 million loan from Vakifbank and Halkbank and $350 million put up by Calik with Qatar’s Al Wasaeel International Media Co. «Calik Holding, which won the tender (for ATV Sabah)… with a bid of $1.1 billion, made the payment and took over control of the media group,» said the statement from Calik. Calik, which has close links to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), bought ATV-Sabah at an auction in December, paying the minimum price as the sole bidder. Calik Holding’s general manager is Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s 29-year-old son-in-law Berat Albayrak. Romania’s monetary policy has been ‘tightened enough’ BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania’s monetary stance is tight enough to bring inflation down gradually and the central bank should not «exaggerate» with any further tightening, central bank Governor Mugur Isarescu said yesterday. However, speaking to Reuters in an interview, Isarescu did not rule out the possibility that surging inflation could force the bank to raise Romanian interest rates to 10 percent or higher from 9.5 percent at present. «We have high hopes that monthly inflation will continue to gradually decrease because monetary conditions have been tightened enough,» he said. «(But) I don’t rule out the possibility of having double-digit interest rates.» ‘Monopolists’ fined Diageo Plc, the world’s largest liquor maker, Justerini & Brooks Ltd and R Bailey & Co were fined by Bulgaria over claims they tried to monopolize imports of alcoholic beverages in the Balkan country. Bulgaria’s Supreme Administrative Court upheld a 200,000 lev ($162,000) fine against each of the companies, the anti-monopoly commission in Sofia, said on its website yesterday. The court’s ruling can’t be appealed, the statement said. The regulator ruled on the fines in 2006 after finding the three companies offered binding contracts to Bulgarian liquor traders that restricted their choice of suppliers, the statement said. Diageo and the two other companies appealed the decision. (Bloomberg) Risk of hard landing The Baltics should see a soft landing from the global economic slowdown, but there is still some risk of a hard landing there and in Romania and Bulgaria, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday. «Our basic scenario for the Baltics is a soft landing,» said Ajai Chopra, deputy director of the IMF’s European department. «The risk of a hard landing cannot be excluded, not just in the Baltics but in Romania and Bulgaria too.» (Reuters)

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