Greece's National Bank buys out rival Eurobank


The merger creates the largest bank group in the country. Also in business news: Romania narrowly misses a recession and foreign investment in Turkey dropped in 2012.

Fifty-eight percent of Eurobank shares were bought by the National Bank of Greece. [AFP]

Greece's National Bank announced on Monday (January 18th) it has completed a buyout offer for rival Eurobank. The deal will create the biggest bank group in the country, the lender said.


Bulgaria is considering revoking the license of Czech power distribution utility CEZ, the energy, economy and tourism ministry said on Sunday (February 17th). The statement came amid the biggest protest in the country in years, which brought thousands of people in the streets protesting against high electricity bills.


Foreign Direct Investment in Turkey dropped by 37.9 percent in 2012 from the previous year, figures from the Central Bank showed. Investments last year amounted to $6.087 billion compared to $9.9 billion in 2012. Most foreign investments last year were in the construction, finance, food and insurance sectors.


Albania will scrap VAT on the imports of industrial and agricultural tools, steel and cement in an effort to boost the economy, Prime Minister Sali Berisha told a government meeting last week. The government currently levies a 20 percent VAT on imports of these product categories.


Serbia's biggest defence company, Yugoimport SPDR, signed a contract on Monday (February 18th) to develop light cruise missiles for United Arab Emirates-based Emirates Advanced Research and Technology Holding LLC. The contract is worth more than 200 million euros.


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Romania avoided a recession in the fourth quarter of 2012, data from the National Statistics Institute showed. GDP in the Balkan country over the period grew by a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent month-on-month after a 0.4 percent drop in the third quarter. On an annual basis, GDP was up 0.2 percent.


Turkish oil company TPAO and Dutch-British group Shell signed an agreement on oil exploration in the western Black Sea region. The deal worth roughly $150 million envisions drilling at least one deep-water well in the region.

(Various sources -- 13/02/13-20/02/13)

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