In Brief

Romania’s GDP could shrink 2 pct in 2010 BUCHAREST (Reuters) – The Romanian economy is expected to continue to contract by as much as 2 percent next year, compared to a forecast by the International Monetary Fund of slight growth, a Finance Ministry official said. Like most of its neighbors, Romania plunged into recession at the start of the year, as the world crisis slashed demand and lending, forcing it to seek 20 billion euros in IMF-led aid. A mission of the Washington-based lender is in Bucharest undertaking a first review of Romania’s progress in meeting aid conditions, which include a fiscal deficit target of 4.6 percent of GDP in 2009. «Economic contraction in 2010 is inevitable, we will see a plus only in 2011 due to external factors,» Dorin Mantescu, head of the ministry’s macroeconomic unit told Business Standard. «The economy will probably contract next year by up to 2 percent.» EBRD approves loan to build Serbian road BELGRADE (Reuters) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said yesterday it had approved a 150-million-euro loan to Serbia to finance new sections of a road to the Bulgarian border. Serbia’s year-old government has pledged to invest in road infrastructure that fell into disrepair during the 1990s when the country was internationally isolated for its role in the wars in Bosnia and Croatia. The government hopes that modern roads and faster communication will attract more investment. «Through this loan, the EBRD reinforces its commitment to support the modernization of transport infrastructure in Serbia,» Thomas Maier, EBRD business group director for transport, said in the statement. Croatia shipyards Croatia will announce on Saturday a tender for the sale of six state-owned shipyards, which is a key condition for progress in the European Union entry talks, a top government official said yesterday. «Now all conditions are met for an international tender for the sale of six shipyards to be published on Saturday,» the official told reporters. The tender, which will be open for 60 days, includes three docks in the northern Adriatic and three docks in the south around Croatia’s biggest Adriatic city of Split. (Reuters) Turk trade Turkey’s trade deficit contracted 46 percent year-on-year to $4.15 billion in June, less than a forecast deficit of $5.6 billion in a Reuters poll of 10 analysts. The gap was wider than May’s $3.48 billion deficit, which followed special tax measures by the government that boosted demand. Exports fell 29 percent to $8.33 billion and imports fell 36 percent to $12.48 billion, the Turkish statistics office said. Trade to the European Union dropped 30.4 percent year on year, the statement from the statistics institute said. Turkey’s trade gap was $7.7 billion in June last year, but shrinking demand and falling commodity prices due to the global economic downturn have lowered Turkey’s import bill for the year by nearly 50 percent from last year. (Reuters)