ECONOMY

In Brief

Greek Coke bottler to cut 150 jobs in Poland The world’s second-largest Coke bottler, the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCHBC), will cut 150 jobs in Poland as of February as part of its efforts to cut costs. The Greek bottler has said it looked for opportunities to further reduce costs in response to the current difficult economic environment, in a bid to boost 2009 profits. «In response to the expected GDP growth slowdown in Poland in 2009, we are proactively managing our cost base to ensure we sustain our competitiveness in the market,» CCHBC’s director of investor relations, George Toulantas, told Reuters. «It is about 4.5 percent of our Polish work force, which represents about 3,000 employees.» He said all the people affected, mainly in administrative posts, would be provided with additional severance pay, which could typically range between one and three months’ salary, along with information on finding a job outside the group. (Reuters) High supply of European gov’t bonds causing concern European bonds fell as governments prepared to step up debt sales and the International Monetary Fund said nations aren’t doing enough to revive their economies. Two-year yields rebounded from near the lowest in more than 18 years after IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said European governments are «behind the curve» in implementing stimulus packages and are «still underestimating their needs.» Germany plans to sell two-year notes tomorrow, according to Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. «Supply is a major concern now,» said Matteo Regesta, a London-based interest-rate strategist at BNP Paribas SA. «Market players are concerned with the idea that supply could be too much.» The yield on the two-year note rose three basis points to 1.54 percent yesterday. Bond yields move inversely to prices. The yield on the German two-year note dropped to as low as 1.49 percent on Friday, the lowest since September 1990. European governments will sell as much as a record 41 billion euros of Treasury bills this week, according to ING Groep NV. Italy sold 13 billion euros of securities maturing within a year today while Germany sold 6.1 billion euros of bonds. The Netherlands issued -6.9 billion of debt yesterday. France also offered -8 billion, while Greece will sell -2 billion today. Spain may offer -1.5 billion of bills tomorrow. (Bloomberg) Deficit contracts Turkey’s current account deficit contracted in November to its narrowest in three years, as falling energy prices and slumping demand helped to reduce the import bill. The deficit shrank to $559 million from $3.3 billion in November 2007, the third consecutive decline, the central bank in Ankara said on its website yesterday. The gap was forecast at $1.2 billion, according to the median estimate of 15 economists in a Bloomberg e-mail survey. The deficit is contracting as global energy prices fall and the international financial crisis drives the Turkish economy closer to recession, curbing demand for imported goods. «It’s going to continue narrowing,» said Haluk Burumcekci, chief economist at Fortis Bank AS in Istanbul. «As activity declines and petrol prices fall, then we’ll see imports declining faster than exports.» The deficit in the 12 months through November was $44.1 billion, compared with $46.9 billion a month earlier. (Bloomberg)