ECONOMY

In Brief

SE Europe banking system stable amid turmoil SOFIA (AFP) – Southeast European banks may have remained essentially untouched by the financial turmoil in the USA and elsewhere around the world but are facing indirect negative effects from the crisis, central bank governors from the region said yesterday. The heads of the national banks of Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia met in Sofia to discuss the state of their economies and precautionary measures to escape any possible setbacks from the crisis. «Sometimes being less developed is an advantage, as we do not have sophisticated instruments in the region like those that triggered the problems in the US,» Bulgarian National Bank Governor Ivan Iskrov said. The crisis has had little effect on the region as yet and no direct effect on banking systems, he said. Turkey’s central bank decides to return to old currency ANKARA (AFP) – Turkey will return to its old currency, the Turkish lira, on January 1, after a major money reform four years ago that saw the introduction of the new Turkish lira, officials said yesterday. Central Bank Governor Durmus Yilmaz predicted that inflation pressure triggered by the global financial crisis would have only a minimal effect on the new currency. The outgoing new Turkish lira will remain in circulation to the end of 2009, alongside the new banknotes. They were introduced in 2005 after Turkey’s chronic inflation fell to single digits as a result of a tight International Monetary Fund-backed program that helped the economy emerge from a severe crisis in 2001 and stabilized the currency. Turkish Sept CPI Turkish inflation rose less than expected in September, official data showed yesterday, but the global credit crisis was seen as hampering prospects for the central bank to cut interest rates soon. Turkey’s consumer prices rose 0.45 percent month-on-month in September, compared with a forecast rise of 1.0 percent, for a year-on-year rise of 11.13 percent, the Turkish Statistics Institute said yesterday. The producer price index fell 0.90 percent month-on-month in September for an annual rise of 12.49 percent. (Reuters) Romania revenues up Romania’s budget revenues rose to 113.3 billion lei in the first nine months of the year, up 31.8 percent on the same period last year, data from the Finance and Economy Ministry showed yesterday. Revenues, which stem from the consolidated budget’s main five components, amounted to roughly 22 percent of the gross domestic product forecast for this year by the government. (Reuters) GE-Bosnia deal General Electric will sign an investment deal worth at least 400 million euros in the Serb half of Bosnia later this month, the region’s prime minister said in an interview yesterday. «We have received confirmation that General Electric will sign the deal on October 23,» Milorad Dodik, the prime minister of Bosnia’s Serb Republic, told Reuters. «About 300 million euros will be in the energy sector, and 100 million euros in the health sector.» (Reuters)