ECONOMY

In Brief

Home prices in Cyprus seen steady in 2011 Home prices in Cyprus may stabilize in 2011 after falling 3 percent this year and 9 percent in 2009, an industry official said. «In the first half of 2011, home prices overall will remain unchanged compared with 2010,» said Kyriakos Talatinis, vice president of the Cyprus Association of Valuers and Property Consultants, in a telephone interview yesterday. «Domestic demand will depend on whether banks keep their rating standards the same or tighten them.» External demand will remain weak and prices will fall in most coastal areas, he added. In November, mortgages rose at an annual 15 percent pace to 14 billion euros ($18.6 billion), the Central Bank of Cyprus said in a statement on its website yesterday. Revenue from the capital gains tax rose 19 percent in the first 11 months of 2010 after falling 75 percent in 2009 on an 80 percent slump in property sales. Demand for homes in the port city of Limassol will remain stable as long as Russia’s economy benefits from high energy prices, according to Christos Panagi, manager director of Pandomus Property Developers. (Bloomberg) Turkish public offerings may triple next year Turkish public offerings of shares may more than triple to about 10 billion liras ($6.4 billion) next year, according to an association that represents companies traded on the Istanbul Stock Exchange. As many as 30 companies may sell shares to the public in 2011, said Halil Eroglu, chairman of the Istanbul-based Koteder, in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Turkey had 3.1 billion liras from 22 share sales to the public in 2010, including initial and secondary offerings, said Eroglu, who is also the chief executive of Turkiye Sinai Kalkinma Bankasi AS, a leading adviser in IPOs. Builder Limak Insaat AS hired Merrill Lynch and UniCredit SpA in October to manage a share sale to the public at its Limak Yatirim unit. Istanbul-based Pegasus Airlines and Dogus Holding AS, a group with interests in banking and auto dealerships, have also said they plan IPOs in the first quarter of 2011. Finansbank AS, a Turkish lender owned by National Bank of Greece SA, and Turkiye Halk Bankasi AS, a state-controlled lender, also plans secondary share sales, Eroglu said. Turkey’s asset sale agency will choose an adviser for a possible sale from a 49.12 percent government stake in Turk Hava Yollari AO, the national carrier known as Turkish Airlines, the agency said on December 6. (Bloomberg) Primary dealers Greece named Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch, HSBC Bank Plc, ING Bank NV and UBS Ltd among the 22 financial institutions chosen as primary dealers for the government bond market in 2011. National Bank of Greece SA, Alpha Bank SA and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc are also on the list, the Athens-based Bank of Greece said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. (Bloomberg) Airline losses Cyprus Airways, the country’s state-controlled carrier, said financial results for 2010 are expected «to be significantly more loss-making» than for 2009. While the company increased passenger numbers, revenue fell amid greater competition, the Nicosia-based airline said yesterday in a filing to the Cyprus Stock Exchange. The company’s performance in 2010 was also hurt by the financial crisis in Greece and its effect on demand for key Greece-Cyprus routes, the weakening of the euro, the rise in fuel costs and the eruption of a volcano in Iceland which closed much of Northern Europe’s airspace, according to the statement. Cyprus Airways management and staff must agree to a realistic restructuring plan for the airline to survive, Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis said November 23. The airline may make a loss of 30 million euros this year compared with a loss of 3.3 million in 2009, Stavrakis said on November 9. (Bloomberg) Road deal Intracom Technical Steel & Construction SA, the construction unit of Intracom Holdings SA, got a 51.6-million-euro contract to build a 17-kilometer section of a road in Greece’s central Macedonia region, according to an e-mailed statement from the Athens-based company yesterday. (Bloomberg)