IMF disburses 3.4 billion euros to Greece


The fund said Athens does not need to impose new austerity measures this year. Also in business news: Bulgaria leads the region in Foreign Policy magazine's Baseline Profitability Index.

Protesters rally against austerity measures in April. The IMF said Greece does not need to institute new austerity actions this year. [AFP]

The IMF agreed to disburse a new instalment of 3.41 billion euros to Greece. To date, the fund has lent the country 11.6 billion euros under a four-year programme. The fund also suggested that Athens would not need to adopt any new austerity measures this year.


The World Bank approved two budget loans for Albania, totalling 162 million euros. The money will be used to support the country's budget, especially its problems with arrears, as well as help the government's tax, pension and energy sector reforms.


Sweden will provide aid worth 400 million euros to the western Balkans to help countries from the region carry out reforms necessary for them to qualify for EU accession. The funds will help Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbia overhaul public administration and the judiciary, as well as protect human rights.


Bulgaria is ranked 28th, the best of its Balkan peers, in Foreign Policy magazine's Baseline Profitability Index, which measures the attractiveness of countries for foreign investors. Macedonia is at 29th, followed by Romania at 43rd, Albania at 53rd, Serbia at 55th, Turkey at 79th, Croatia at 90th and Greece at 101st.


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said the damage from the floods in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) could cost about 3 billion euros. For Serbia, the estimate is 1.5 to 2 billion euros, while for BiH it stands at about 1.3 billion euros, the bank said.


The reunification of Cyprus would generate a 20 billion euro peace dividend for the island, according to a study titled "Cyprus Peace Dividend Revisited," funded by Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway. According to the report, a peace deal would raise per capita incomes by about 12,000 euros annually, while GDP would increase by about 2.8 percentage points a year for 20 years.


Switzerland will prolong its labour market restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians until May 31st 2016. The decision includes all workers and service providers in certain economic sectors, such as construction and flower growing.


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Japan's Nikkei Business Publications has acquired an 80 percent stake in Turkish publishing group Multu Dergi Grubu, which will be known as Nikkei-Multu Dergi Grubu and will be headquartered in Istanbul. The company has licensing agreements with Time Inc. and other notable publishers.


German company Technical Textile will invest 12 million euros in research and development activities at a plant in the Macedonian town of Stip. The company's management intends to employ 500-600 workers.

(Various sources -- 05/28/14-0604/14)

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