ECONOMY

In Brief

Turk court rules to make withholding tax equal ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled in favor of making withholding tax on securities the same for domestic and foreign investors, knocking markets on concerns it would worsen the investment climate. Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek told Reuters that measures would be taken to protect the investment environment after the ruling, which comes with the economy deep in recession and as Ankara tries to boost activity through aggressive interest-rate cuts. «First, investors should not have any doubt on this subject because the Constitutional Court has given us a considerably long time period,» he said in an interview. The Constitutional Court ruling, in response to a court case brought by opposition deputies, will go into effect nine months after it is published in the country’s Official Gazette. In the meantime, the government will work on fresh measures. Cyprus financial minister hoping for 2009 rebound NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus hopes to be able to pull itself into growth this year, in spite of official forecasts of a contraction, Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis said yesterday. «If you ask me, I personally think that at the end of 2009 the growth rate will be positive,» Stavrakis said in response to a question submitted in parliament. His expectation is at odds with official estimates that the island will see a 0.5 percent contraction of gross domestic product this year, after growth of 3.7 percent in 2008. Cyprus technically fell into recession in the second quarter of 2009, on a slowdown in construction activity and tourism. Albanian growth Albania’s economy will grow by 2-2.5 percent in 2009, central bank Governor Ardian Fullani said yesterday, revising up forecasts after a resurgence in deposits and lending which will also support the currency. «The new forecast is slightly higher, remittances improve and deposits are coming back,» Fullani told journalists on the sidelines of an economics conference in Athens. «September was a turning point,» said Fullani, who had previously predicted growth levels of between 1 and 2 percent. (Reuters) Romania-IMF Any delay to the disbursement of the next tranche of an International Monetary Fund loan package for Romania could put downward pressure on the country’s rating, a senior Fitch analyst told Reuters television yesterday. A political crisis in Romania began last month when the Social Democrats (PSD) stormed out of a coalition government. This week, they teamed up with the Liberal opposition to bring down the minority government. The IMF on Thursday postponed a mission to Bucharest on the grounds it wants to see a functioning government before it arrives. (Reuters) Bosnia power Bosnia’s largest power utility picked yesterday three firms, including Switzerland’s Atel, as the best bidders to buy part of its 2010 power surplus of 797 gigawatt-hours worth 38.3 million euros. The other two were Energy Financing Team, the London-based trading and investment group, and Czech company Ratia Energie Trading CEE, Elektroprivreda BiH General Manager Amer Jerlagic told Reuters. (Reuters)