In Brief

Bank of Cyprus Q4 profit seen flat, poll indicates Bank of Cyprus Pcl, the biggest lender on the Mediterranean island, may say fourth-quarter profit was little changed on lower foreign exchange income after the country adopted the euro and on the slowing world economy. Net income probably dropped to 115 million euros ($151 million) from 116 million euros a year earlier, according to the median estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Income from lending increased 3.2 percent to 203.4 million euros and the bank’s provisions rose to 25 million euros from 5 million euros a year earlier, the survey showed. Revenue may advance to 320.7 million euros from 286 million euros, in part on strong domestic income generation. The survey shows full-year profit will come to 490 million euros, missing the bank’s 540-million-euro target by 9.3 percent. Bank of Cyprus is scheduled to release the figures on February 3 before the Athens Stock Exchange opens. (Bloomberg) Navios shares rise on higher dividend Navios Maritime Partners LP, a transporter of raw commodities such as iron ore and coal, raised its dividend 3.9 percent to 40 cents a share. The dividend will be payable February 12 to shareholders of record as of February 9, Navios said in a Market Wire statement. Navios, based in Piraeus, Greece, previously paid a dividend of 38.5 cents per share. Navios rose 22 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $7.37 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have fallen 54 percent in the past year. (Bloomberg) Gov’t borrowing European government borrowing needs may jump by 45 percent to almost 2 trillion euros ($2.6 trillion) this year, according to Fitch Ratings. The increase brings debt to «a historically large scale but is manageable,» Fitch said in a statement from London yesterday. Increases in fiscal deficits won’t threaten existing ratings, Fitch said. «Fears of a fiscal funding crisis as European government borrowing rises sharply amidst more volatile market conditions look exaggerated,» Brian Coulton, managing director of Fitch’s sovereign group, wrote in the statement. «The sheer scale of government issuance in late 2008 under extremely stressed financial market conditions was testimony to their market access.» (Bloomberg) No IMF deal Romanian President Traian Basescu has spoken out against a potential deal with the International Monetary Fund, defying expectations from many economists that Bucharest may be forced to seek IMF help. Bucharest’s month-old coalition government appears conflicted about seeking the Fund’s help to shore up jittery markets and insulate the economy from the threat of a financing crisis, in deals similar to those sought in 2008 by Hungary and Ukraine. Basescu’s comments, made in a late-night television show on Monday, come as the Washington-based lender began a scheduled mission to Bucharest. The Fund has said talks about any assistance program are not on the agenda for the visit. A senior coalition strategist, Ionut Popescu, said in December at least 10 billion euros in IMF cash may be necessary, while Prime Minister Emil Boc has said a decision whether to seek help had not yet been taken, saying the country had «many solutions» to its current situation. (Reuters)

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