ECONOMY

In Brief

Coke bottler puts back Russian plant opening The Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, the world’s second-largest bottler of Coke beverages, postponed the opening of its plant in Russia, citing documentation delays. Construction of the factory, in the southern region of Rostov, is planned to be completed in April or May next year, said Yana Guskova, spokeswoman for the company’s Russian unit. Coca-Cola HBC had planned to complete the plant at the end of this year, she added. «Construction requires a lot of documents and permits, and a delay in the plant’s completion has to do with that,» Guskova said by telephone from Moscow yesterday. The $120 million factory will be Coca-Cola HBC’s 14th factory in Russia and will have initial production capacity of 300 million liters, spokesman George Toulantas said in March 2007. The second part of the factory will be completed between 2010 and 2015 and will bring its annual production capacity to 500 million liters, he said. (Bloomberg) Eurobank Properties cancels Bulgarian deal Eurobank Real Estate Properties Co, Greece’s biggest real estate investment trust, canceled an agreement to acquire a Bulgarian company, citing current economic conditions. The cancellation of the September 4 accord will have no financial impact on Eurobank Real Estate, the Athens-based company said in a bourse filing yesterday. The Bulgarian company is constructing a building for office and retail use in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, the filing said. (Bloomberg) Credit lines Bulgaria’s state-owned Development Bank (BDB) said yesterday it would extend credit lines to commercial banks in a bid to boost lending to businesses and shield the emerging economy from the global credit crunch. The Balkan country will put some 500 million levs ($322.6 million) in BDB as part of a European Union-wide response to the global financial crisis that has frozen interbank lending and hit growth. The BDB bank said more than half of the country’s 30 commercial banks have expressed interest in the credit lines of up to 10 million euros ($12.61 million) per bank. «The goal is to stimulate the access of small and medium-sized companies to financing,» the bank said in a statement. The tighter global liquidity has increased credit costs in Bulgaria by about 1 to 3 percent. Fearing recession, banks have curbed lending to businesses by about 20 percent on an annual basis in October. (Reuters) Turkish growth Turkey’s gross domestic product is seen growing by 2 percent annually in 2008 and 2009, down from the previous government estimates of 4 percent, senior government sources told Reuters yesterday. The official 4 percent projection for 2008 and 2009 will be revised officially if an agreement can be reached with the International Monetary Fund, the sources said. (Reuters) Eick resigns Deutsche Telekom AG Chief Financial Officer Karl-Gerhard Eick resigned and will leave Europe’s largest telephone company on March 1, almost three years before his contract ends. Eick will join another company that Bonn-based Deutsche Telekom didn’t identify in its statement. The board approved Eick’s premature resignation yesterday and no successor was named. (Bloomberg)