ECONOMY

In Brief

Greece planning to issue a 5-year dollar bond LONDON(Reuters)- Greece plans to sell a 5-year dollar-denominated benchmark bond this week, an official at one of the banks managing the sale said yesterday. A bank source close to the deal said that the bond would raise a minimum of $1 billion. Guidance has been set at mid-swaps plus 10 basis points, the official said. Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley and National Bank of Greece are managing the sale. Greece is rated A1 by Moody’s Investors Service and A by both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. Greece, which borrows as the Hellenic Republic, is a regular visitor to the syndicated bond market. It last tapped the market in early May, selling a 4-billion-euro ($6.2 billion) 10-year bond that drew strong demand. Bulgaria unemployment rate drops to 6.1 percent SOFIA(Reuters) – Bulgaria’s jobless rate dropped to 6.19 percent in May from 6.5 percent the previous month due to increased demand for seasonal workers, the Labor Ministry said yesterday. The unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in May 2007. The Labor Ministry said 229,133 were without jobs in May, down by 60,620 people from the same period of previous year. Ljubljana market The buyer of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange will be chosen on Friday from the remaining two bidders, the Vienna and Athens bourses, a company representing the owners of the Slovenian bourse, said. «On Friday we will open their final offers and choose the buyer. The minimum requested price is 600 euros (930 US dollars) per share but I expect the bids will be higher than that,» Andrej Zejn, managing director of Arkas, told Reuters yesterday. A price of 600 euros would value the whole bourse at 20.1 million euros. In April, the stock exchanges of Vienna and Athens were chosen as the final bidders for 81 percent of the Ljubljana bourse. The other bidders were the Warsaw bourse and Nordic exchange operator OMX. Zejn said the purchasing contract will be signed next Tuesday. He said that the bourse will be sold to the highest bidder since both bidders have accepted other conditions. (Reuters) Cyprus tourism drop Tourism arrivals to Cyprus dropped by 3 percent in May from the same period a year earlier as British visitor numbers fell sharply, the statistics department said yesterday. Total arrivals in the month stood at 271,559, down from 273,058 visitors in May 2007. In the first five months of the year, total tourism arrivals reached 682,614 people, up just 0.1 percent from 681,632 in the corresponding period last year. In May, the island saw a 10 percent drop in tourist arrivals from one of its main markets, Britain, to 140,669 from 156,515 in May 2007. (Reuters) Trade barriers The European Union eased trade barriers between the Greek and Turkish communities of Cyprus to improve confidence before reunification talks. The EU removed duties on fruits and vegetables produced in the Turkish-Cypriot area in northern Cyprus when they enter the territory of the Greek Cypriot-led Republic of Cyprus in the south, the EU presidency said in an e-mailed statement yesterday in Nicosia. The EU also increased the ceiling of goods contained in personal luggage that can be taken duty-free from northern to southern Cyprus to 260 euros from 135 euros. (Bloomberg)