ECONOMY

In Brief

PPC to buy wind farms from BCI The board of Greece’s largest electricity utility, Public Power Corporation (PPC), has cleared the acquisition of three wind parks from BCI Group as part of efforts to become less dependent on lignite. State-controlled PPC aims to invest about 2 billion euros in renewables by 2015 to replace a total of 2,000 megawatts of old, polluting lignite plants as it shifts toward cleaner energy sources. «The relevant contract has not been signed, while the final acquisition cost will be determined after the completion of financial and legal due diligence,» PPC said in a statement yesterday. The three wind farms have a total capacity of 24.65 MW and will be bought by PPC’s fully owned subsidiary, PPC Renewables. The deal will also include the purchase of another three wind farms under development, with a total capacity of 48 MW. The utility’s earnings fell 27 percent in the first half, hurt by high fuel costs, taxes and lower power consumption. (Reuters) Cyprus aims for airline mergers to avoid closures NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus said late on Thursday it wanted to merge its two flag carriers to stave off possible closure from mounting losses, as cheaper carriers encroach on their most profitable routes. Authorities aim to submit a plan to the European Commission on the merger of Cyprus Airways, which is majority state controlled, and Eurocypria, a wholly owned government company, Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis said. On Tuesday, Cyprus Airways reported a pretax loss of 25.1 million euros for the first six months of the year. The government has previously floated the idea of merging it with Eurocypria and the island’s cabinet recently decided the merger should go ahead, Stavrakis said. Turk inflation Turkish consumer prices rose 0.4 percent on the month in August, more than expected and driven by rising food prices, although analysts dismissed the rise as a one-off. Analysts had forecast inflation of 0.18 percent. Producer prices rose 1.15 percent on the month, exceeding a forecast of 0.23 percent, and were up 9.03 percent from a year earlier. The CPI index was up 8.33 percent on the year. «Food and energy costs contributed to a higher-than-expected inflation rise. But the core inflation, monitored by the central bank, is negative. For that reason, I do not think that the central bank will bring forward the rate rise,» said Guldem Atabay, chief economist at Ekspres Invest. (Reuters) Turkey measures Turkey’s Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said yesterday he would take any necessary measures to meet fiscal targets. A recent government decision to postpone fiscal reforms aimed at cutting the budget deficit has unsettled markets. Simsek also told reporters that tax debt restructuring would add no new costs on finances and that they possibly could create additional revenues. (Reuters) Dinar support Serbia’s central bank sold euros to commercial banks yesterday to support the dinar as the currency slipped versus the euro again, traders said. The dinar traded within a range of 105.60 to 105.87 when the central bank started selling euros. The central bank sold 44.5 million euros last week to prop up the dinar, which has lost almost 9 percent since the beginning of 2010, adding to a 30 percent decline since the economic downturn hit Serbia in September 2008. (Reuters) Bosnia FDI Foreign direct investment in Bosnia in 2009 totaled 346 million Bosnian marka ($227 million), final figures showed yesterday, half a provisional estimate of 706 million marka. The central bank, which released the figures, said preliminary figures did not include losses from negative retained earnings. It said that FDI in 2009 accounted for 1.4 percent of gross domestic product. «The figure confirmed the negative influence of the world financial crisis on Bosnia’s economy in 2009,» the central bank said in a statement. (Reuters)