JAT Airways will be rebranded as Air Serbia. Also in business news: Greece reduces the hotel VAT to boost tourism and Albania's central bank has cut the benchmark rate in the country by 25 basis points.
Air Serbia will add 12 new destinations to its roster. [AFP]
United Arab Emirates' Etihad has acquired 49 percent of Serbia's JAT Airways. Following the deal, the Serb company will be rebranded to Air Serbia and 12 destinations will be added to its schedule, including in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
Bulgaria is the fourth biggest source of fake goods seized in the EU after China, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates, according to a report published by the European Commission. The country ranks first in the list of source countries of fake packaging materials. In total, fake goods worth more than 1 billion euros were detained at EU borders last year.
The Greek government reduced VAT for hotels and restaurants in the country in an effort to boost tourism, one of the most important industries in the country. As of August 1st, VAT for the sector was cut from 23 percent to 13 percent.
Romania has reached an agreement with the IMF and the EU on a 4 billion-euro precautionary loan. The 24-month standby deal has been requested by the government. For the time being, it has no plans to draw on it.
For the first time since Cyprus was bailed out in March, the government is allowing savers to open new accounts in local banks. The move, which has been seen as a bid to attract savers to put their money into the bank sector, allows new fixed-term accounts with at least 5,000 euros cash, which cannot be closed for a period of three months.
Albania's central bank has cut the benchmark rate in the country by 25 basis points down to 3.5 percent. No reasons were given for the move, but recently central bank governor Ardian Fullani said that the economy is fragile, which requires "stimulating macro-economic policies."
Turkey's Economy Ministry has sent letters to commerce chambers across the country urging them to consider investing in Greece. According to the written note, businesses should take the step in order to benefit from "bargain" investment opportunities in the neighbouring country.
(Various sources -- 01/08/13-07/08/13)