ECONOMY

In Brief

Titan cement to appeal Florida plant ruling Greece’s largest cement-maker Titan will appeal a US court ruling that bans mining at its mines in Florida, the company said in a statement yesterday. A court issued a ruling on Friday canceling all permits that had been approved in 2002 for limestone mining in Florida’s Lake Belt region, Titan said. «Titan views this as (a) flawed decision and plans to vigorously appeal,» the company said. However, Titan said it was well-prepared to continue operations and maintain production at its Pennsuco plant and will meet customer needs and commitments. «The news is negative for Titan,» Proton Securities said in a note to investors. «However, it seems that it is now in a better position to handle the ban, given that demand for aggregates is significantly lower.» (Reuters) Turk exports register big decline in January Turkish exports fell 27.9 percent year-on-year in January to $7.052 billion, the Turkish Exporters Association (TIM) said yesterday, indicating a sharp slowdown in Turkey’s key export markets in Europe and elsewhere. The TIM figures come almost a month ahead of official data, which they tend to match. In the same month last year, exports amounted to $9.782 billion. Motor vehicle and supplier industry exports tumbled 53.2 percent year-on-year in January to $1.004 billion, while clothing exports dropped 19.6 percent to $1.153 billion. Industrial goods accounted for 81.8 percent of the country’s exports in January, with total industrial exports 31.08 percent lower at $5.766 billion. (Reuters) Montenegro power Montenegro put on sale yesterday a smaller-than-planned stake in its power monopoly and gave potential bidders an end of April deadline to submit offers for 18.3 percent equity in Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG). Of the 18.3 percent stake on offer, 9.15 percent of the equity will be sold out of existing capital and a further 9.15 percent will be a new share issue to boost the capital of the power company, the state-run Agency for Restructuring and Foreign Investment said. The government had initially planned to boost EPCG’s capital by 22 percent through a new share issue. (Reuters) Croatia loan Croatia is likely to take out a local syndicated loan worth 750 million euros to refinance a Eurobond maturing later this month, a Finance Ministry source said yesterday. Croatia has to refinance a Eurobond worth 500 million euros that matures on February 11. For that purpose, the central bank is expected later this week to ease the asset/liability ratio to 25 from 28.5 percent and boost foreign currency liquidity for some 840 million euros. (Reuters) Romanian reserves The Romanian central bank’s hard currency reserves fell by around 200 million euros in January, signaling potential central bank intervention in currency markets to support the leu, analysts said. The bank said hard currency reserves, excluding 103.7 tons of gold, fell to 26 billion euros. (Reuters)