In Brief

Restis to invest in Montenegrin resort PODGORICA (Reuters) – Greece-based shipping company Restis Group has become the main investor in Montenegro’s most prominent tourist project, Sveti Stefan Island, where Hollywood celebrities once frolicked, officials said yesterday. After running far behind schedule in reopening the island, made up of traditional stone houses, the elite boutique hotel chain Amanresorts has turned to Victor Restis of the Restis Group to help fund a 30-million-euro reconstruction investment, said Livio Ranza, general manager of Aman Sveti Stefan. «With our Greek partner now we have all the papers to start and we have to resolve a few things with the Montenegrin government,» Ranza said in an interview. To date, Restis has invested 90 million euros in Montenegro, said Goran Velimirovic, the Greek shipping tycoon’s business adviser and lawyer in Montenegro. Montenegro gives PPC a deadline PODGORICA (Reuters) – Montenegro has given Greece’s Public Power Corporation (PPC) a July 29 deadline to drop all the conditions attached to its 127-million-euro bid for the power monopoly Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG), or lose the tender despite making the most attractive bid, a senior source said yesterday. With a bid of 11.10 euros per share for an 18.3 percent stake in EPCG, Greece’s PPC has surpassed the offer by Italian rival A2A of 8.40 euros per share. The government controls 70 percent of EPCG. The price and a pledge to invest 5 billion euros would not mean an easy win for PPC, which has bid along with GoldenEnergy One Holdings, a unit of the Greek shipping group Restis. Montenegrin government officials have been looking for flaws in the Greek offer, which has spoiled what local media called a «done deal» with A2A. «Wednesday, July 29, 5 p.m. [6 p.m. Greek time] is the deadline,» a senior source involved in the process, told Reuters. «They must give up all their conditions and then they will be able to close the transaction on September 30.» Turk rate cuts Turkey’s central bank said late on Monday it will continue short-term measured rate cuts if clear economic recovery is not seen soon. The statement confirmed the possibility of further bank rate cuts after cutting interest rates to a new record low this month. The central bank has slashed rates by 850 basis points since November due a sharp slowdown in economic activity. «If a clear recovery is not seen in economic activity, the central bank is still believes further measured interest rate cuts will be necessary,» said the bank in a statement. (Reuters) Akbank profit Akbank, Turkey’s biggest company by market value, reported yesterday a better-than-expected 44 percent rise in second-quarter net profits after the central bank’s succession of rate cuts helped to lower costs. The Istanbul-based lender, in which Citigroup owns a 20 percent stake, earned 730.29 million Turkish lira ($495 million) in the second quarter, up from 506.41 million lira in the same period last year, according to a company statement. (Reuters)