Turkey gets its third English-language newspaper this week. Also in business news: Montenegro joins the IMF and World Bank, and Serbia seals agreements on gas pipeline construction.
Turkey's third English-language newspaper Today's Zaman was launched this week in what its editors described as a response to increasing foreign interest in the country and an attempt to stop "unfair" perceptions of Turkey in the world. [Getty Images]
A third English-language newspaper -- Today's Zaman -- was launched January 16th in Turkey. The paper will compete with the existing English-language dailies Turkish Daily News and New Anatolian. According to editor-in-chief Bulent Kenes, the paper will attempt to give a fairer perception of Turkey to the rest of the world.
Montenegro formally joined the IMF and the World Bank. Rodrigo de Rato, the IMF's managing director, praised the country's "impressive" transition to independence and its economic recovery.
The Serbian Mining and Energy Ministry sealed agreements on the construction of seven gas pipelines in central and western Serbia with three companies -- Serbia's Projektomontasa and Jedinstvo Sevojno, and Greek-based Interclima. The projects -- worth a total of 14m euros -- will be financed under the government's National Investment Plan and the national plan for gasification. They will enable 90,000 households to switch to the gas supply network.
The UNDP announced a new $1.36m project aimed at embedding responsible business practices in five new EU member states -- Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia -- as well as EU candidates Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey. The initiative, which will run until mid-2008, will address local and foreign enterprises and other stakeholders in these countries.
Greek lottery systems provider Intralot announced last weekend that it acquired a majority 50.1% stake in the Argentinean lottery systems company Techno Accion. It did not disclose the exact price of the deal, saying only that 100% of Techno Accion is evaluated at around $22m.
The Macedonian Finance Ministry said it has submitted to the government draft changes in the law on investment funds, aimed at facilitating the opening of private investment funds in the country. The ministry is proposing that the required minimum founding capital for such initiatives be reduced from the current 1m euros to 500,000 euros.
A draft strategy for joining the Eurozone, prepared by the Romanian government and released for public debate earlier this week, suggests that Romania needs around seven years of preparations after EU accession before adopting the euro. According to the convergence plan, the budget deficit must reach 2.7% of GDP this year and will gradually reduce to 1.9% of GDP by 2009, to maintain the disinflation process within reasonable limits.
(Various sources -- 12/01/07-19/01/07)