ECONOMY

In Brief

Economic sentiment sinks to record low Greek economic sentiment sank to a record low in November, falling for the ninth consecutive month, with the global economic downturn hitting the real economy and hurting consumer confidence and the business outlook. The Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said yesterday its economic climate index fell to 66.7 points from 72.9 in October. The month-on-month deterioration tracked that seen in the eurozone economy. The economic sentiment benchmarks for the EU-27 and the eurozone fell to 70.5 from 77.2 and to 74.9 from 80.0 points respectively. The overall index is based on business expectation sub-indices covering industry, construction, retail trade, services and consumer confidence. The average business sentiment between 1997 and 2007 is set at 100 points. In the same month a year ago, Greece’s economic climate index stood at 106.8 points – an above average indication of optimism. (Reuters) Ten-year bond spread is widest since 2001 Ten-year Greek government bonds yielded 172 basis points more than eurozone benchmark German Bunds yesterday – the widest gap since the country adopted the euro currency in 2001. The spread was last seen at 169 basis points, according to Reuters data and compares with 161 bps on Wednesday. Peripheral debt yields, including Greece and Italy, widened against German Bunds this session but analysts said the market was suffering from low liquidity. (Reuters) Finansbank loan Finansbank AS, a Turkish lender owned by National Bank of Greece SA, received a syndicated loan of about $470 million from 20 international banks. The bank will pay 2 percentage points above the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor, on the one-year loan, Istanbul-based Finansbank said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The loan comprises two tranches of 226 million euros ($285 million) and $182.5 million, and will be used to finance exports, it said. (Bloomberg) Polish bourse Poland’s Warsaw Stock Exchange, planning to list by the middle of 2009, said it isn’t interested in selling a stake to Wiener Boerse AG and doesn’t plan to join an alliance of regional bourses with a common trading platform. Wiener Boerse, which controls three stock exchanges in Eastern Europe, earlier this week announced plans to set up one trading system for all four exchanges to facilitate buying and selling of shares in the region. Wiener Boerse Co-Chief Executive Officer Michael Buhl also said his exchange is «interested in cooperating or buying a stake in the Warsaw exchange.» (Bloomberg) Inflation drop Cyprus’s annual consumer price inflation dropped sharply in November to a year low of 3.43 percent from an October reading of 5.2 percent, the statistics department said. Month on month, the consumer price index (CPI) tracker dropped 1.0 percent on the back of declining household bills and petrol prices. The 3.43 percent figure is the lowest recorded all year, with the tracker stuck above 4.0 percent since January and hitting a five-year high of 5.63 percent in July. (Reuters)