ECONOMY

In Brief

October household credit contracts 0.1 percent y/y Greek household credit shrank in October as the economic downturn suppressed demand for loans, the country’s central bank said yesterday. The Bank of Greece said the pace of loan growth to households was -0.1 percent in annual terms from 0.1 percent in September. Recession, coupled with tighter credit conditions, is eating into the borrowing that fueled consumption and economic expansion in Greece in previous years. Greek economic output shrank 2 percent last year and is expected to contract by 4.2 percent in 2010 as austerity measures to reduce the budget deficit, including tax hikes and cuts in public sector pay and pensions, take their toll. The Bank of Greece said home loans grew 0.7 percent, slowing from a 1 percent annual increase in September, while consumer credit contracted 2.3 percent after shrinking 2.1 percent in the previous month. The central bank said the annual pace of credit growth to businesses decreased slightly to 2.2 percent in October from 2.3 percent in September. (Reuters) Greek producer price inflation slows to 5 pct Greek producer prices rose 5 percent year-on-year in October, easing from a 5.8 percent clip in September as price increases in energy costs softened, the country’s statistics service said yesterday. Greek consumer price inflation slowed to 5.2 percent year-on-year in October after hitting a 13-month high of 5.6 percent in the previous month. (Reuters) Hellenic earnings Cypriot lender Hellenic Bank yesterday posted a 16 percent drop in nine-month net profit to 12 million euros, reporting a drop in income on a group basis and losses at its operations in Greece. Group pretax profit came in at 16.14 million euros for the period ended September 30, 2010, a 26 percent decline compared with a year earlier, the bank said in a statement. The bank posted a 26.01 million pretax loss in Greece, compared with a 52.5-million-euro loss a year ago after halving its provisioning costs in the country. Pretax profit reached 42.27 million in Cyprus, where it substantially increased provisioning to 23.6 million euros compared with 6.5 million euros a year ago. (Reuters) Intralot Q3 net Greece’s Intralot, the world’s second-largest lottery systems provider, said yesterday third-quarter net profit dropped 25.8 percent year-on-year, hurt by higher gaming taxes in Bulgaria and depreciation charges. Net profits fell to 11.7 million euros from 15.8 million in the same period last year. The figure was below an average forecast of 13.1 million in a recent Reuters poll of analysts. Intralot offers gaming platforms and operates sports betting and video lotto machines for online poker sites and casinos in about 50 countries around the world. In Greece, it is the technology vendor for the country’s betting monopoly OPAP. (Reuters) Istanbul airport A third airport to be built in Istanbul will cost around $5 billion and have a capacity of at least 60 million people, Turkey’s Transport Minister Binali Yildirim said yesterday. The airport tender would be for a «build-operate-transfer» model and would help relieve the burden of increasing air traffic in Turkey’s largest city, Yildirim told Turkish state-run news agency Anatolia. «The airport to be built on Istanbul’s European side will have capacity for at least 60 million passengers and two separate runways. We estimate the total cost of the airport to be around $5 billion,» he said. Early this month Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas said the airport would be built to the west of the city in Silivri. (Reuters) EIB-Serbia The European Investment Bank said yesterday it would lend Serbia 325 million euros in total to develop the country’s infrastructure and power distribution network. Under the terms of three separate loans, Serbia will borrow 195 million euros for constructing a key highway in the south of the country, EIB President Philippe Maystadt said at the opening of the bank’s western Balkans office in Belgrade. «The interest will be in the range of 3.7 percent with a maturity of 25 years,» Maystadt said. (Reuters)