ECONOMY

In Brief

Closed-end funds trade at discount Shares in Greece’s eight listed closed-end funds traded at a discount to their underlying net asset value (NAV) in May, Association of Institutional Investors data showed yesterday. The association said investment funds traded at discounts ranging from 13.55 to 31.28 percent, with the sector’s weighted average discount at 23.82 percent. Closed-end funds, unlike open-end mutual funds, have a set number of shares. They trade like other securities. The listed funds had a combined 352.2 million euros ($549.4 million) in assets under management, up 1.4 percent from a month earlier. All eight funds had negative returns on NAV since the start of the year, ranging from -9.09 to -19.20 percent. All outperformed the Athens bourse’s benchmark general index, which lost 19.35 percent in the period. (Reuters) Romania’s 5-mth budget revenues up 39 pct y/y BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania’s consolidated budget revenues rose 39 percent on the year to 63.36 billion lei in the first five months of 2008, data from the Finance and Economy Ministry showed yesterday. Revenues amounted to roughly 13 percent of the latest government forecast of gross domestic product for this year. The centrist government targets revenues at around 39 percent of GDP in 2008, including the absorption of some 2 billion euros in European Union structural funds. Overheating risk Romania’s first-quarter gross domestic product growth of a higher-than-expected 8.2 percent points to risks of economic overheating, central bank Governor Mugur Isarescu said yesterday. «This risk of economic overheating does exist. This (GDP) growth rate is a pretty high one,» he told reporters on the sidelines of a financial seminar. He declined to say whether the central bank would raise its benchmark interest rate at its next sitting in late June, but added that it would not change its 2008 inflation target of 2.8 to 4.8 percent. (Reuters) Assets drop The Turkish lira lost 1.5 percent yesterday and bond yields rose to their highest level in more than a year after the central bank raised its inflation targets, spurring credibility concerns among investors. The lira closed at 1.2400 against the dollar, easing from 1.2220 a day earlier, but in Thursday-dated trade it rebounded partially to 1.2365. After annual May inflation came in at 10.74 percent on Tuesday the central bank proposed raising its inflation targets for the next three years, including almost doubling next year’s target to 7.5 percent, a plan the government accepted. (Reuters) Power hike Turkish electricity distributor TEDAS has said it wants a 25 percent electricity price rise, senior government sources told Reuters yesterday, but they said the final decision rested with the government. «The Energy Ministry is acting cautiously, as TEDAS wants a 25 percent price increase… Price hikes will be necessary to cover the increase of oil prices, but the final decision will be the government’s,» said one of the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity. The price hike would take place on July 1, the sources said.