In Brief

Tourism revenues in Cyprus plunge 12.8 pct NICOSIA (AFP) – Revenues in Cyprus’s vital tourism sector plunged 12.8 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, signaling a tough year ahead amid the global recession, official figures showed yesterday. Income from tourism, which forms 12 percent of GDP in the government-controlled southern two-thirds of the island, plunged to an estimated 124.8 million euros in the three months to March from 143.2 million euros a year ago. In March alone the drop accelerated to 14.8 percent as revenue from holidaymakers sank to 57.4 million euros from 67.3 million in the same month of 2008. Tourism income for last year as a whole fell 3.5 percent to 1.79 billion euros from 1.85 billion euros in 2007. Average daily spending by tourists in March was 65.80 euros and the average stay was 9.6 days. Cosmote boosts its stake in AMC to 95 percent Leading Greek cellphone operator Cosmote now holds a 95 percent stake (directly or indirectly) in the Albanian Mobile Communications company in the neighboring country. Cosmote yesterday announced the completion of the transfer of another 12.6 percent stake in AMC that belonged to the Albanian state, as the deal received all the necessary approvals from the regulatory and state authorities of Albania. The price Cosmote had to pay for this stake was 48.2 million euros. This came one day after the Albanian parliament approved the fourth cellphone license in the country, which went to Kosovo Post and Telecom (PTK) for 7.2 million euros. Serb crisis plan A new plan being prepared to fight Serbia’s economic downturn will rely on monetary policy easing to boost liquidity as the country has run out of fiscal policy options, a top official was quoted yesterday as saying. The new plan, still in the works, will be discussed with the International Monetary Fund in Washington at the weekend, Deputy Prime Minister Mladjan Dinkic told Politika daily. The government has revised the 2009 budget, with 1 billion euros worth of savings and cutting the fiscal deficit by half to 3 percent of GDP, the key to having a 3-billion-euro loan from the IMF approved by mid-May. (Reuters) Dacia raises output Romanian carmaker Dacia, owned by France’s Renault, will boost daily output by 12 percent and hire new staff from mid-June as state incentives in several EU states have revived demand. (Reuters) Bulgaria debt up Bulgaria’s gross foreign debt growth slowed by 25.3 percent to 36.5 billion euros at the end of February from a year ago as tighter global liquidity hit borrowing, data showed yesterday. The gross foreign debt, which equaled 99.6 percent of gross domestic product, edged up 0.1 percent on the month after commercial banks reduced tapping their mother companies and markets for funds. (Reuters) Albania-CEZ Albania’s parliament has approved the sale of 76 percent of power distributor DSO to Czech power company CEZ, Deputy Energy Minister Enno Bozdo said yesterday. He told reporters parliament approved the contract on Thursday and expects CEZ to invest at least 200 million euros to reduce thefts and losses from the grid. (Reuters)

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