ECONOMY

In Brief

GMAC stops making auto loans in Greece DETROIT (AP) – GMAC Financial Services says it will no longer make auto loans in seven European countries, as troubles in the lending industry force it to adjust its operations. The financing arm of General Motors Corporation says, as of Saturday, it will no longer originate retail loans in the Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain. GMAC said yesterday it will assess the implications of the tough credit markets in those countries and in its markets in Hungary and Denmark. The move comes as GMAC continues to tighten its belt in the tough credit market. It said earlier this month it was raising its standards for consumer auto financing. It has also raised the rate it charges dealers for consumer auto financing. Turkey expects looser conditions from IMF Turkey would expect looser budget restraints in any new agreement with the International Monetary Fund, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. While the government isn’t «anti-IMF,» it expects «understanding» from the fund if a new accord is to be reached, he told reporters yesterday at a meeting in Ankara. The government doesn’t want a deal based on the «classic methods» of the IMF, such as spending cuts and tax increases, he said. Turkey completed a $10 billion IMF program in May. The government says it doesn’t need fresh loans in any new IMF accord, and is resisting pressure from Turk business leaders for a new borrowing agreement. (Bloomberg) Bulgaria plan The World Bank urged Bulgaria yesterday to prepare an emergency plan should the global financial crisis deal its emerging economy a severe blow. Kristalina Georgieva, vice president and director of strategy and operations at the World Bank, said Sofia should also spell out where potential foreign financial help could come from to boost investor and market confidence. «What I didn’t hear is whether the government intends to create an emergency plan,» Georgieva, a Bulgarian herself, told a business conference in Sofia. «For instance, what are we going to do to stimulate domestic demand if unemployment increases?» Analysts and ratings agencies view the country as particularly vulnerable, along with the Baltic states, because it depends heavily on foreign borrowing to cover its huge current account deficit and refinance foreign debt. (Reuters) Debt growth slows Private debt growth in Romania will slow in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis, the deputy governor of the country’s central bank, Cristian Popa, said. Private debt growth will ease to about 15 percent next year, Popa told journalists in Bucharest yesterday. It grew an annual 50.5 percent in September, slower than this year’s peak of more than 63 percent in June. Economic growth will slow to 4.6 percent of gross domestic product next year from an estimated 9.1 percent this year, he said. The Banca Nationala a Romaniei has raised its main interest rate seven times in the past year, lifting it to 10.25 percent from 7 percent a year ago, to dampen inflation. (Bloomberg)