ECONOMY

In Brief

Greece mandates banks for three-yr bond issue Greece yesterday mandated five banks for a forthcoming three-year euro benchmark bond, the country’s Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) said. The banks are Alpha Bank, EFG Eurobank, Piraeus Bank, Goldman Sachs and Unicredit, the PDMA said. «The transaction will be launched and priced in the near future subject to market conditions,» PDMA said. «Co-leads will be the remaining primary dealers.» The 3-year bond will be part of Greece’s overall debt issuance this year. The debt agency has said it planned 3-, 5- and 10-year benchmark bonds via syndication in 2009. Greece, which suffered a credit rating downgrade to A-/A-2 by S&P last month, plans to borrow about 42 billion euros this year, the head of the PDMA has said. (Reuters) OLP sees 2008 profit but shipping weak till 2010 Greece’s largest port will post a 2008 profit despite a slide in revenues due to a dockers’ strike but its outlook this year is cautious as a global shipping downturn is unlikely to ease before 2010, its CEO said. «The market will be positively surprised,» Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) Chief Executive Officer Nikos Anastassopoulos told Reuters. «In the last two quarters of 2008, we balanced first-half losses… and went into the black, despite revenues dropping about 35 percent (for the year).» (Reuters) Turk financing Weak growth and a lower cash primary budget surplus pose risks for Turkey’s financing program in 2009, the country’s Treasury said yesterday. The Treasury said in a statement answering Reuters questions that further issues of income-indexed bonds, which it launched last month, would depend on market conditions. «The level of the primary surplus in 2009 will largely depend on repercussions (from) the global credit crisis on Turkey’s growth performance,» the Treasury said, adding that its program had a cautious approach. It targets a 28.5-billion-lira ($17.53 billion) cash surplus this year, up from 24.4 billion lira last year. The primary surplus excludes interest payments on the country’s debt. (Reuters) Stimulus plan Turkey has presented an economic stimulus package to Parliament in a move to reverse a sharp downturn in the economy by supporting manufacturers, Turkish papers said yesterday. The package will give the cabinet the power to reduce some corporate tax on investment by up to 90 percent, and also cut taxes in textiles and retail clothing by 75 percent for a five-year period if they move their plants to certain cities. Reports said the plan will target the poorer eastern and southeastern parts of Turkey, and the cabinet has until the end of 2010 to determine where the industrial stimulus measures will take effect. (Reuters) Romania policy Romania’s monetary policy will remain tight until fiscal and wage restrictiveness is enforced, central bank Governor Mugur Isarescu said yesterday. «Monetary policy continues to be overloaded. It is clear we cannot relax it until fiscal and income constraints start functioning,» he told a news conference called to present the quarterly inflation report. (Reuters)