ECONOMY

In Brief

Turkey March industrial output falls 20.9 percent ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s industrial production fell for an eighth consecutive month in March, but not by much as expected, official data showed yesterday, prompting hopes of a possible recovery in the second quarter. Industrial production fell 20.9 percent in March due to a steep fall in exports and weak demand at home during the global economic crisis. The median forecast in the survey of 13 economists at banks and brokerages in Istanbul was for a 22.9 percent year-on-year fall in output, in pace with falls in January and February. «The fall in industrial production stopped in March and bellwether indicators including the manufacturing industry confidence index make us think that a recovery may start in the coming months,» Fortis bank economist Erkin Isik said. Plans renewed for Turk lottery tender this year ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey plans a new sale tender for its national lottery this year, its privatization body said yesterday, a day after a chaotic sell-off was scrapped because bidders failed to meet the minimum price. Privatization authorities had surprised bidders in the tender, including Europe’s largest betting firm OPAP from Greece, by setting a $1.62 billion minimum price, which was sharply higher than what the bidders were prepared to offer. The failure of the tender dealt a blow to Turkey’s efforts to raise foreign direct investment at a time when the economy is entering recession. «If necessary there could be changes in the tender conditions and contracts,» Privatization Administration (OIB) Chairman Metin Kilci told reporters. Romania reactor Romania will shut down the second reactor at its sole nuclear power plant in Cernavoda on the Danube River for one month to run maintenance and testing work, the plant’s operator said. The 706-megawatt unit, which went on stream in 2007, will be disconnected from the national grid from May 9, Nuclearelectrica said in a statement. In 2008, Romania signed a deal to build two more reactors in Cernavoda by around 2015. It set up a joint public-private company together with major foreign power players, retaining a 51 percent stake. (Reuters) A2A in Montenegro Italy’s A2A SpA is interested in bidding for a stake in Montenegro’s state-owned power utility Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG), a financial source said yesterday. A2A, Italy’s biggest regional utility, could decide on an offer by the end of the month. The move would be part of A2A’s efforts to build up its hydroelectric power portfolio. «The company is assessing if it will participate in the bid and will decide before the end of the month,» said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. (Reuters) Turkish hazelnuts Turkey’s state grain board TMO is marketing its hazelnut stocks, the world’s largest, for the first time, hoping to profit from resilient international demand for confectionery, its chairman told Reuters yesterday. Turkey is the world’s top hazelnut producer, and expects to generate $1.3 billion from exports of the crop this year. (Reuters)