The financial crisis hits another regional country as Cyprus looks for a bailout. Also in business news: Kosovo has relaunched a procedure to privatise the state-controlled post and telecom company RTK.
Cyprus may need as much as 1.8 billion euros to shore up one bank. [Reuters]
The Cypriot government officially announced on Monday (June 25th) it decision to seek financial aid from the EU to recapitalise its banking system, which is heavily exposed to the Greek economy. No specific amount has been revealed, but local officials have said 1.8 billion euros will be necessary to recapitalise the biggest Cyprus Popular Bank. Talks are expected to take place in the coming days. Cyprus has already borrowed 2.5 billion euros from Russia.
Bulgaria is the EU member with the cheapest prices for consumer goods and services, Eurostat data announced on Monday (June 25th). Prices in the country are 49% below the average in the bloc. In Europe as a whole, Macedonia enjoys the lowest price levels in this category standing at 45% below the EU average.
Kosovo has relaunched a procedure to privatise the state-controlled post and telecom company RTK, the economy ministry announced on Monday (June 25th). The prequalification stage will last until July 30th. The previous deal for the sale of the company was stopped last year due to mismanagement charges against senior company officials, which prompted the candidate -- Croatia's telecom T-HT -- to drop its bid.
The Balkan transition economies -- Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia -- suffered the most from the global 2008-09 recession, an analysis by the Economist Intelligence Unit showed on June 19th. According to analysts, real GDP in the region contracted by 5.2% in 2009. It fell by 0.4% in 2010 before starting to grow moderately last year.
Greek telecom group OTE, the biggest in Southeast Europe, announced on Saturday (June 23rd) that it is looking for a buyer of its Bulgarian units Globul and Germanos in an effort to help refinance its 3.4 billion-euro debt, which matures in the next two years. Deutsche Telekom, which controls 40% of OTE, sold its 20% stake in Telekom Srbija at the start of this year.
Serbia hosted a meeting on green economy and sustainable development in the Adriatic and Ionian region on the sidelines of the UN summit in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday (June 21st). Serbian Environment Minister Oliver Dulic, who co-chaired the meeting, said the sector has the potential to create 500,000 new jobs in the region over the next several years. The Adriatic and Ionian regions include Italy, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Albania and Greece.
Bosnia and Herzegovina hosted a regional forum titled "SEEnovate: Supporting Intelligent Growth" last week that aimed to showcase the latest investment and business opportunities in Southeast Europe. The event drew over 150 representatives of small- and medium-sized enterprises, investors and policy makers from across the region.
(Various sources -- 20/06/12-27/06/12)