ECONOMY

In Brief

Gov’t delays stock capital gains tax Greece will delay the introduction of a 10 percent capital gains tax on stock trading by nine months to January 1, 2010, the Finance Ministry said yesterday. Last summer, Greece announced a 10 percent tax on capital gains and dividends in 2009 as part of a package of measures to boost budget revenues. But adverse market conditions forced a delay until April 1. The Finance Ministry said the new delay was due to «exceptionally adverse market conditions internationally, which are hurting all markets.» «(The delay) also aims to avert a possible deterioration in Greece’s capital market, which could be brought about by a change in tax policy in the midst of a crisis,» it said. Greek brokers have said the plan to tax capital gains as part of government measures to plug its budget shortfall would end up hurting the stock market, stripping it of a key competitive advantage. (Reuters) Foreign investors ditch Turkish debt ANKARA (Reuters) – Risk-averse foreign investors have reduced their Turkish bond holdings to their lowest levels since 2005, but luckily for the cash-hungry Turkish government local banks have shown an increased appetite for the paper. Turkey will be one of the larger emerging market borrowers this year as its treasury struggles with sharply reduced tax revenues and increased spending by the government in a bid to restore economic activity. The treasury expects 2009 total debt repayments to amount to 153.9 billion lira, while it plans to issue $5.6 billion debt in global markets. «The total government security stock is rising due to the treasury’s high borrowing and banks are buying this debt,» Fortis Bank economist Erkin Isik said. Bosnia-IMF Bosnia will launch talks for a possible deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to offset the impact of the world economic crisis but will be careful about it, the National Fiscal Council said yesterday. «We agreed that the state finance ministry should initiate the talks,» said Bosnia’s Prime Minister Nikola Spiric, who is chairing the Fiscal Council gathering of top regional and state officials. «But we must first see what we need and what the IMF can offer us,» Spiric told reporters after the council’s session. «We have to approach this very carefully, we have to make thorough analysis.» (Reuters) Romanian jobless Romania’s unemployment rate rose to a two-year high of 5.3 percent in February from 4.9 percent a month before, as dwindling demand from the eurozone batters Central and Eastern Europe, official data showed. Economists say jobless numbers are expected to grow at a faster pace in coming months as the global slowdown reaches Romania. In February 2008, the unemployment rate was 4.2 percent. (Reuters) Turk dairy sector Turkey still has a long way to go to bring its dairy sector into line with European Union standards, especially in segregating products that would be exported to EU markets, an inspection report showed yesterday. The report, based on a visit by EU veterinary and food safety inspectors in November, noted «continuous improvement» in implementing hygiene rules but said there was a long way to go in developing reliable product traceability systems. (Reuters)