ECONOMY

In Brief

Alapis hires adviser to look into strategic alternatives Alapis Holdings SA, a Greek maker of veterinary and agricultural products, has hired financial advisers, including Deutsche Bank AG, to study «strategic alternatives» for the company. Alapis still sees full-year net income of 140 million euros ($199 million) to 170 million euros and sales of 900 million euros to 1 billion, according to a bourse filing yesterday. (Bloomberg) Turk Treasury sees 09 debt repayments of 153.9 billion lira ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The Turkish Treasury said yesterday it expected 2009 total debt repayments to amount to 153.9 billion lira ($102 billion), consisting of 97.0 billion lira in principal payments and 56.9 billion in interest. In a statement on its 2009 borrowing plans, the treasury said its debt repayments next year would consist of 135.1 billion lira in domestic debt and 18.7 billion lira in foreign debt. The announcement of the plan comes ahead of a January visit by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) team to Turkey, which is expected to sign a fresh loan deal to replace the accord that expired in May. The treasury also said it expected foreign bond borrowing in 2009 to amount to 5.6 billion lira ($3.7 billion). «Uncertainties created by the global credit crisis have made forecasts regarding the financing program more difficult than in previous years,» the treasury said. «Bearing these uncertainties in mind, the 2009 financing program has been prepared with a cautious approach,» it added. Including loans from the World Bank, European Investment Bank and other bodies, foreign borrowing was targeted at 6.6 billion lira next year, the statement said. Domestic borrowing was seen at 105.1 billion lira next year, equivalent to a domestic debt rollover rate of 77.8 percent. Bank rally Shares in Serbian banks rallied yesterday in thin trade as the financial sector was trying to boost the price of their assets ahead of the December 31 book closing, lifting the main index of the 15 most actively traded stocks by as much as 6.8 percent. «According to our laws, banks and companies calculate the value of assets based on their December 31 market value,» a senior stockbroker said. «Unlike banks, which can afford to lift their share prices, companies are doing nothing.» Despite thin volumes, Metals Banka led the rally, gaining 20 percent on reports that it could transform into a Development Bank of Vojvodina, Serbia’s breadbasket in the north. Univerzal Banka was the most heavily traded asset ahead of December 31 dividend cutoff date. (Reuters) Cement plans Lafarge Aslan Cimento AS, a Turkish cement maker controlled by Lafarge SA, jumped the most in four years in Istanbul trading after the French company said it is considering «strategic options» in its Turkish operations. Lafarge hired JPMorgan Chase & Co to advise it on the process, Lafarge Aslan said in a filing with the Istanbul Stock Exchange on December 26 after the market close, without providing further details. Lafarge Aslan shares jumped 10.50 liras, or 24 percent, to 54 liras, posting the biggest gain since November 2004. (Bloomberg)