In Brief

Greece discusses World Bank co-financing of Balkan projects Macedonia-Thrace Minister Giorgos Paschalidis and World Bank Vice President for Europe Jean-Francois Rischard discussed yesterday the possibility of the World Bank’s co-financing projects in the Balkans. Greece will provide money for these projects through its special aid program for the Balkans. Rischard, on a two-day visit to Thessaloniki, was positive about the prospects of cooperation, Paschalidis said after the meeting. Turkey appoints 10 banks as primary debt dealers ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s treasury said yesterday it had appointed 10 local banks as «primary dealers» in a new debt market system designed to help the country deal with a heavy domestic debt burden. The banks named as primary dealers are: Akbank, Finansbank, HSBC Bank, Oyakbank, Ziraat Bank, Disbank, Garanti Bank, Is Bank, Vakifbank and Yapi Kredi Bank. The primary dealership system gives certain banks special rights in treasury debt auctions and on the secondary debt markets in return for promising to buy at least 3 percent of domestic debt issued by the treasury in every month and a net 5 percent of the debt issued over a three-month period. The system will come into effect today when the treasury is to auction 140-day and 301-day domestic debt. Turkey is struggling to handle a domestic debt load that reached 130,376 trillion lira (around $80 billion) at the end of June. Street vendors protest Street market vendors in the northern city of Alexandroupolis yesterday attempted to occupy the offices of Deputy Finance Minister Apostolos Fotiadis, a local MP, in protest at the mandatory introduction of cash registers in the markets. Their representatives said the measure would ruin them because it would lead to a «big increase in operational costs.» «Street markets are losing their reason for existence… the institution has kept its competitiveness over several decades, but the elimination of incentives will… result in a drop in competitiveness and the institution’s slow death,» they said in a statement. Mission to Japan The Hellenic-Japanese Chamber of Commerce is organizing a business mission to Japan from November 11-15. Businessmen interested in exporting their products to that country will meet with interested counterparts. Information meetings on the mission will be held in Athens and Thessaloniki. Applications for inclusion with the mission must be made to the Chamber, tel 010.364.1650 by September 18. OSE bond State transport firm Hellenic Railways (OSE) is planning to launch a 200-million-euro 10-year bond toward the middle of the week, sources close to the deal said yesterday. The transaction was originally mandated in July and is being managed by HSBC Markets. The deal will carry an explicit guarantee from the government. (Reuters) WPI The Wholesale Prices Index rose 0.7 percent year-on-year in July after a 0.1-percent fall in the previous month, the National Statistics Service (NSS) announced yesterday. Month-on-month, wholesale inflation was flat, the NSS said. (Reuters) Above-average inflation has been a thorn in the government’s side for some time now. While consumer prices remained unchanged in July – at 3.6 percent on a harmonized basis – the expectation is that inflation will continue to exceed EU averages in the remaining months on the back of «accelerating labor costs, a closing output gap and persisting rigidities in key domestic goods and services markets,» EFG Eurobank Ergasias said in a July research note.

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