In Brief

Turkey posts July budget surplus of 3.95-bln-lira Turkey’s budget surplus in July before interest payments was 3.95 billion liras ($3.3 billion), according to preliminary figures released by the Treasury. The ex-interest deficit compares with a surplus of 56 million liras in July 2007. The overall budget, including interest payments on debt, posted a deficit of 2.36 billion liras in the month, compared with a gap of 5.5 billion liras a year ago, the Treasury in Ankara said in a statement sent by e-mail yesterday. The Treasury’s figures are based on cash receipts and spending. The Finance Ministry is due to publish final budget numbers later this month. The current account deficit widened for a 13th straight month in June as energy prices rose, increasing the likelihood the lira will weaken. The gap expanded to $5.6 billion from $3.1 billion in the same month a year earlier, the central bank in Ankara said on its website. (Bloomberg) Turk oil pipeline repair to be further delayed A fire that’s closed British Petroleum’s Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline in eastern Turkey may keep burning today, delaying the start of damage assessment, Turkey’s Energy Ministry said. «It is still burning,» Ebru Akdogan, a spokeswoman for BTC Co, said by phone. «We don’t know when it will finish.» About 70,000 barrels of oil had burned by Thursday, leaving another 30,000 barrels to burn out before experts can start assessing damage to the 6-kilometer stretch of the pipeline in eastern Turkey where the fire broke out, Mehmet Akif Sam, a spokesman for the ministry, said in a phone interview today. That may not happen until tomorrow, he said. (Bloomberg) Bulgarian growth Bulgaria’s economy grew 6.3 percent in the second quarter, the slowest since the third quarter of 2007, Economy and Energy Minister Petar Dmitrov said. The $40 billion economy slowed from a three-year high of 7 percent in the first three months as Western carmakers and assembly plants moved production to the Balkan nation to take advantage of low taxes and cheap labor. Dimitrov cited preliminary data released by the statistics office yesterday. (Bloomberg) Croatia travelers The European Union will let transit air travelers arriving from Croatia carry liquids onto connecting flights, making the Balkan neighbor the second nation after Singapore to win an exemption from EU anti-terror rules. The EU said passengers who buy liquids, such as drinks and perfumes, at six Croatian airports, including Zagreb and Split, will be allowed to keep those goods when transferring in the 27-nation bloc. These airports, which also include Dubrovnik, Pula, Rijeka and Zadar, meet EU safety standards, the European Commission said. (Bloomberg) Advertising stakes Affichage Holding AG, Switzerland’s largest billboard advertiser, said it had bought the remaining 25 percent stakes in two Greek advertising companies. The Swiss firm will now hold 100 percent of Domisi Wall SA and Clear Media SA, Zurich-based Affichage said this week in an e-mailed statement. Financial terms were not disclosed. (Bloomberg)