ECONOMY

In Brief

National Bank to up stake in Turkish unit National Bank of Greece, the country’s biggest lender, agreed to buy the stake held by Fiba Holding AS in its Turkish unit, Finansbank. A price for the stake will be determined by the auditors of Finansbank, Athens-based National said yesterday in a bourse filing. Fiba Holding, Finansbank’s previous owner, retained a 9.7 percent stake in the bank when National acquired the lender in 2006. (Bloomberg) Turkey signs deal for its first nuclear plant ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s Dogan Enerji signed an accord with Turkish, Belgian and Canadian companies yesterday to take part in a tender to build and operate Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, parent company Dogan Holding said. Its partners in the deal are Turkish conglomerate Anadolu Endustri Holding, Brussels-based energy company Unit Investment NV and Canada’s Bruce Power, Dogan said in a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange. Turkey has set a deadline of September 24 for bids to build the plant at Akkuyu near Mersin on the Mediterranean coast with a capacity of 4,000 megawatts, plus or minus 25 percent. Turkish conglomerate Sabanci said last month it was in talks with General Electric Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Spanish utility Iberdrola SA on the tender. Bulgarian jobless Bulgaria’s jobless rate stayed virtually unchanged at 5.96 percent in July, Labor Ministry data showed yesterday. The unemployment rate was 5.97 percent in June and 7.25 percent in July 2007. The ministry said dole queues fell slightly, to 220,879 people, in July, down by 210 from the previous month and 47,567 from the same month last year. Strong economic growth and improved business perspectives following Bulgaria’s 2007 entry into the European Union have cut unemployment in Bulgaria and already created labor shortages. The Balkan country is considering importing labor from neighboring Balkan non-EU nations and some Asian countries to meet the rising demand for skilled workers. Nearly 1 million Bulgarians have left the country since communism collapsed in 1989, seeking better pay abroad. (Reuters) Serbian sale Serbia will negotiate the sale of state oil company Naftna Industrija Srbije to OAO Gazprom only after approving an energy agreement with Russia in September, Economy Minister Mladjan Dinkic said. «Only after the ratification will we start talks on the sale of NIS,» Dinkic said yesterday at a press briefing in Belgrade. «I am optimistic we will reach a good deal that will benefit both sides, and a better one than some economists and previous negotiators anticipated.» The government of Mirko Cvetkovic on July 10 formed a committee to renegotiate the sale of NIS to Gazprom after the Russian energy company said NIS’s value had declined since it offered 400 million euros ($630 million) for a 51 percent stake in January. «Even the Russians admitted that the figure of 400 million euros for NIS was offered on the basis of a 2006 estimate,» Dinkic said today. The two countries must ratify additional Russian investment of 500 million euros in Serbia’s energy industry and a plan to run the South Stream gas pipeline through the Balkan nation on its route to Europe. (Bloomberg)