In Brief

Cyprus Central Bank eases liquidity terms NICOSIA (Reuters) – The Central Bank of Cyprus has eased the minimum liquidity reserve requirement in foreign currencies, effectively injecting millions more available cash into the banking system The directive, reported by the daily Phileleftheros and seen by Reuters yesterday, cuts the reserve requirement in foreign currencies to 70 percent of total foreign deposits from 75 percent which was previously in effect. In practice, it would allow commercial banks to lend the equivalent of up to 30 percent of their total foreign currency deposits compared with 25 percent previously. «Under present circumstances the 75 percent (reserve requirement) was considered a bit on the high side,» a Central Bank source said. «At 70 percent we are able to release additional liquidity to the benefit of banks and still able to maintain a very prudent and conservative regulation on liquidity reserves,» the source added. The move would additionally release just over 550 million euros of liquidity into the market. Turkey to auction sites for underground heat Turkey will soon begin auctions for 65 sites where underground heat can be tapped to generate power or provide warm water for use by the agricultural and tourism industries, Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said. The country will invite bids in late September or early October for six areas in southwestern Turkey, where geothermal power generation could reach a total of 800 million kilowatt-hours a year, Guler told reporters in Ankara yesterday. The sales are among efforts to cut Turkey’s dependence on foreign energy sources and encourage private sector investment in the power industry, the minister said. A second wave of auctions will offer sites where hot springs or wells can be used to heat greenhouses, homes or spa hotels, Guler said. (Bloomberg) Gas demand Nabucco, the OMV AG-led venture building a pipeline between Central Asia and Western Europe, said a survey among potential customers showed demand for natural gas outstrips capacity on the link. «Nabucco capacities are more than 100 percent overbooked by potential shippers from day one in 2013 on a long-term basis,» Vienna-based Nabucco said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. The survey indicated demand for gas from Central Asia and the Middle East is «strong,» it said. The 3,300-kilometer (2,050-mile) pipeline, backed by the European Union, will bring gas from the Caspian region via Turkey to Austria and Western Europe by 2013. (Bloomberg) Canal scrapped Ukraine has scrapped a plan to extend a shipping canal which would have threatened wildlife in the ecologically sensitive Danube Delta, the Romanian Foreign Ministry said yesterday. While a spokesman for the Ukrainian government contacted by Reuters said he was unaware of any such decision having been taken, Romania said it welcomed Kiev’s move to halt the deep-water canal plan. «This cancellation of the second-phase works at the canal represents one of Ukraine’s obligations taken during a meeting of the Espoo Convention in Bucharest,» Romania’s foreign ministry said in a statement. The 1991 Espoo Convention of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) commits signatories to consult their neighbors on development projects. (Reuters)