ECONOMY

In Brief

Cyprus may be headed for harsh measures NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus’s Central Bank Governor Athanasios Orphanides has warned that delays in tackling the island’s widening fiscal deficit could require “immeasurably harsher” measures to correct, drawing comparisons to Greece. Cyprus expects a deficit of around 7.0 percent of gross domestic product this year, from an estimated 6.0 percent in 2009. In a letter sent to President Dimitris Christofias, Orphanides ” who is also a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank ” said delays in addressing the problem could exacerbate the situation. “If public finances deteriorate further, painful measures which are needed for fiscal correction today will get immeasurably harsher, while the credibility of our country will suffer a blow,” Orphanides wrote in a cover letter to the central bank’s 2009 annual report. Deposits at Greek banks post a rise in Februa FRANKFURT (Reuters) -Deposits at Greek commercial banks rose in February, European Central Bank data showed, despite concerns that debt worries might prompt a flight of capital out of the country. Deposits rose to 362.3 billion euros from 353.1 billion euros in January, the highest since records began in March 1998. Large monthly fluctuations are common; deposits fell by nearly 10 billion between June and July last year. Carrefour plans Carrefour SA plans to add 10 to 12 stores in Bulgaria by 2012 as part of a broader expansion into Balkan markets, said Laurent Bendavid, Carrefour Bulgaria’s chief executive officer. Carrefour, based in the Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, opened its first store in Bulgaria in the Black Sea city of Burgas in 2009 and plans to open a hypermarket in Sofia on April 21. The company operates in Bulgaria through a franchise with Carrefour Marinopoulos SA, which also runs the chain in Greece and Cyprus. “The Bulgarian market, being among the smallest in Europe, has a growth potential for European-type retailers and we count on that,” Bendavid said in an interview in Sofia yesterday. With 7.5 million people, Bulgaria is among the largest Balkan markets Carrefour is targeting for expansion, he added, without providing further details. (Bloomberg) Eight-year wait Dubai will support Dubai World’s debt restructuring with $9.5 billion as the state-owned holding company has asked creditors to wait up to eight years to get their money back. The additional funds double ” to $20 billion ” the amount the government has paid to the emirate’s holding company. Dubai World said in November it would seek to delay repaying debt until May, sparking a plunge in developing-nation stocks and doubling the cost of protecting against a default by Dubai. (Bloomberg) Nabucco pipeline The consortium for the Nabucco pipeline said yesterday it was sticking to its timetable for gas to start flowing in 2014, even though EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said he did not expect production to start until 2018. “We are aiming to start with the construction at the end of 2011 and we’ll expect first gas to flow at the end of 2014,” Reinhard Mitschek, Nabucco’s managing director, said in a statement from Vienna. (Reuters)