In Brief

Cypriot economic sentiment falls in June NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus economic sentiment fell in June, with businesses reporting a weak outlook for the next three months, Cyprus Economic Research Center data showed yesterday. The economic sentiment index fell 2.1 points to 63.3 points in June from May. The data was commissioned by the Ministry of Finance. «Compared to last month, businesses see a worsening economic outlook… in addition, they are more cautious on prospects for demand over the next three months,» the report said. But it said there was a noteworthy upswing in consumer sentiment in June compared to May. Consumers noticed fewer price increases in staple goods and were more optimistic about the island’s economic circumstances, the report said. Titan Cement sees earnings in line with Q1 Titan Cement Co SA, Greece’s biggest producer of the building material, expects earnings in the second quarter to «follow in the steps of first-quarter earnings,» Chairman Andreas Canellopoulos told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in Athens yesterday. Titan’s first-quarter net income dropped 50 percent from a year earlier to 21.3 million euros, the company said on May 28. Sales declined 9.5 percent to 307.9 million euros. (Bloomberg) Intracom deal Intracom Defense Electronics, a unit of Intracom Holdings SA of Greece, signed a $2.4 million contract with Northrop Grumman Corporation to upgrade fire-control radar systems on F-16 aircraft. (Bloomberg) Romanian gains Romanian stocks rose for the first time this week on speculation that a proposal to scrap the ownership limit in the country’s five investment companies will attract more funds to the market. The benchmark BET Index climbed 1.7 percent in Bucharest trading to close at 3,436.57, snapping a two-day loss, after earlier climbing as much as 3.9 percent to 3,507.67. Lawmakers introduced a bill yesterday to eliminate the limit of 1 percent an investor can hold in the country’s investment companies, or SIFs, saying the cap violates corporate rights. (Bloomberg) Bond buyback Portugal is not keen to pre-fund with debt issuance its 2010 funding needs, while Greece is mulling buybacks of expensive older bonds, the eurozone issuers’ debt management bosses said yesterday. Despite a rise in borrowing needs this year as the global economic crisis hurts tax receipts and boosts public spending, at the halfway stage of 2009, Greece is almost fully funded and Portugal has only 15 percent of planned bond sales left to go. That compares with Germany, the eurozone’s biggest economy and largest borrower in cash terms, which is just in line with its issuance plans at 50 percent funded. Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the annual Euromoney Global Borrowers and Investors Forum in London, Alberto Soares, chairman and chief executive officer of the Portuguese Treasury and Government Debt Agency, said, «Our forecast for this year was a target that might reach 16 billion euros, and we are still within that target.» (Reuters)