ECONOMY

In Brief

Babis Vovos reports smaller loss in Q1 Babis Vovos International Construction SA, a property developer, posted a smaller net loss in the first quarter, according to an Athens bourse filing. The loss was just 5,000 euros, compared with 6.2 million euros in the same period a year earlier. (Bloomberg) Cyprus tourism revenues take 7.5 percent dive Revenues in Cyprus’s vital tourism sector plunged 7.5 percent in the first four months, signaling a difficult year ahead amid the global recession, official figures showed yesterday. Tourism revenues, which account for 12 percent of gross domestic product in the government-controlled south of the island, fell to an estimated 232.3 million euros in the four months to April from 251 million euros last year. In April, revenues from holidaymakers reached 107.4 million euros from 107.8 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. (AFP) Retail sales Greece’s retail sales by volume fell 18.3 percent year-on-year in March after a 13.7 percent drop in February, data by the country’s statistics service showed yesterday. Retail sales by revenues dropped 17.6 percent year-on-year in March after a 12.9 percent drop in the previous month. «The decline of private consumption continues at an accelerated pace, as all components of retail sales, particularly durable consumption goods, shrink at a very rapid pace,» said National Bank economist Nikos Magginas. «The impact of uncertainty on consumer confidence was evident at the end of the sales period, and this implies there will be just a marginal recovery of retail sales in the coming months.» (Reuters) Provisions hurt Greece’s Geniki Bank, majority-owned by France’s Societe Generale, reported yesterday first-quarter losses of 15.4 million euros ($21.6 million), hurt by loan-loss provisions of 21.6 million euros. The bank, which was taken over by Societe Generale in 2004 and is being restructured to compete with larger Greek banks, posted a loss of 11.1 million euros in the same period last year. The bank said its loan portfolio reached 4.15 billion euros at the end of March, up 1.2 percent from end-December. Total deposits and repos rose 0.7 percent to 2.56 billion euros in the same period. (Reuters) Trade deficit Turkey’s trade deficit narrowed in April from a year earlier, the eighth consecutive contraction, as demand for foreign imports slumped and the cost of oil fell. The trade gap contracted to $2.54 billion from $6.5 billion in the year-earlier period, the statistics agency in Ankara said on its website yesterday. (Bloomberg) Montenegro power Montenegro has extended to July 17 a deadline for the submission of bids for a stake in the country’s power monopoly Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG), an official said yesterday. In February, Montenegro put on sale an 18.3 percent stake in its power monopoly EPCG to boost its capital and improve its position in the regional market. That deadline had already been extended for a month to June 1. (Reuters)