ECONOMY

In Brief

Athens stock exchange set to unbundle fees Greece’s stock exchange will unbundle its clearing and settlement fees in November as part of initiatives to lower cross-border transaction costs and fend off competition, its vice chairman said yesterday. The emergence of rival platforms, the so-called multilateral trading facilities (MTFs) such as Chi-X Europe and Turquoise, has been seen by analysts as a potential challenge to the Greek exchange’s comparatively high fee structure. «The unbundling of fees in November this year will make our revenues less sensitive to fluctuations in daily trading value,» Athens Exchange Vice Chairman Socrates Lazaridis told Reuters in an interview. «Part of the existing per-value fee will be substituted by a per-transaction fee. The cost will be lower for participants engaging in higher trading activity,» he said. At Hellenic Exchanges, the holding company that owns the Athens stock and derivatives exchanges and the clearing house, charges for clearing, settlement and registration have hitherto been included in one fee. (Reuters) Albania to post low GDP growth in 2009 Albania will post low gross domestic product growth in 2009 due to falling internal demand and weaker financing, although the banking sector has recovered from the end-2008 shock, the central bank said on Thursday. Governor Ardian Fullani said the economy faced challenges linked to the global crisis, including financing problems for businesses, risks to jobs, possible fiscal complications and the current account deficit. «Developments in the last quarter of 2008 and first months of 2009 show that economic growth, although expected to be positive, will be low,» Fullani told reporters. He gave no figures. The International Monetary Fund sees Albania’s GDP growing 0.4 to 0.5 percent in 2009, while other analysts predict stagnation after 6 percent growth in 2008. A collapse in global demand has hurt exports and cut remittances from Albanians working abroad. «The expected slowdown of economic growth and the difficulties of the real economy are putting pressure on public revenues, increasing the difficulty for their realization according to the 2009 budget,» Fullani said, urging the government to stick to its 4.2 percent budget deficit target. (Reuters) Croatian pipeline Croatia’s oil pipeline operator Janaf Plc is working to improve infrastructure and pave the way for creating an international Adriatic spot oil market, the company said yesterday. Janaf said its intention was not to participate itself in oil trade, but to open space for interested traders to use the capacities of a deep-sea terminal in the northern Adriatic port of Omisalj. «Improvement of storage and transport facilities that we’re now working on will create conditions for setting up an Adriatic spot oil market. Omisalj would thus become a part of an overall Mediterranean oil market,» Janaf said in a statement sent to Reuters. (Reuters) Bond auction Greece will auction 700 million euros’ worth of 26-week Treasury bills and another 700 million euros of 52-week Treasury bills on July 14, the country’s Public Debt Management Agency said yesterday. (Bloomberg)