In Brief

Bank of Cyprus profit seen off 44 percent Bank of Cyprus Pcl, the biggest lender on the eastern Mediterranean island, may say second-quarter profit dropped 44 percent on higher operating costs and loan-loss charges. Net income probably declined to 72 million euros ($102.4 million) from 128 million euros a year earlier, according to the median estimate of seven analysts Bloomberg News surveyed by e-mail and telephone. The bank’s provisions may have more than quadrupled to 52 million euros from 11 million euros a year earlier, the survey showed. Expenses probably rose 27 percent to 161 million euros following the acquisition of a Russian bank last year. Bank of Cyprus is scheduled to release the figures on August 31 after the market closes. (Bloomberg) Egypt signs deals on energy, gold exploration Egypt signed four energy and gold exploration agreements valued at $34.5 million with companies including Apache Corp, the Oil Ministry said yesterday. Three of the agreements, valued at a total of $30 million, are with Apache and the state-run Egyptian General Petroleum Corp to dig 14 wells in the Western Desert, the Cairo-based ministry said in a faxed statement. Egypt also signed an agreement with Matz Holdings of Cyprus valued at $4.5 million to explore for gold in the Eastern Desert, it said. (Bloomberg) Cypriot tourism Tourism arrivals to Cyprus fell 10.9 percent in the first seven months of the year, reflecting an economic downturn which has pushed the holiday island into recession. The sector, which generates revenue approximating between 10 and 11 percent of Cypriot gross domestic product, saw heavy declines in arrivals from Britain, its main market, and Russia. Until July 2009, arrivals of tourists totaled 1.18 million, compared to 1.33 million over the same period in 2008, the statistics department said yesterday. In July alone, arrivals fell 11.2 percent year on year. Local industry representatives say the outlook for the sector is weak and that government incentives to prop up the industry were late in coming. (Reuters) Romanian bonds Romania’s Finance Ministry sold fewer three-year treasury bonds than it planned, rejecting bids for notes priced to yield more than 10.25 percent. The ministry sold 302 million lei ($101 million) of notes due October 25, 2012, less than the 850 million lei initially planned, the Banca Nationala a Romaniei said in an e-mail note yesterday. The average yield on the bills was 10.24 percent, compared with 10.98 percent at the last similar auction of the notes on July 16. (Bloomberg) Turkish bourse The Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) is planning to create a Turkey-wide single trading platform bringing together the IMKB, the gold, and the derivatives exchanges, Dunya newspaper said yesterday. It reported IMKB Chairman Huseyin Erkan as saying in an interview that the envisaged platform of a «Turkey Exchange» would enable brokers to trade on the three bourses through a single connection. (Reuters)

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