Conference raises 1.8 billion euros for Balkan flood relief


Money from the conference will be used to support Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In other business news: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development approves a credit line for Albania's Deposit Insurance Agency (ADIA).

Surviving animals look for a dry spot among cars and tractors near a flooded farm in the village of Domaljevac, near Orasje, BiH, on May 23rd after several days of torrential rain. [AFP]

A donor conference in Brussels raised 1.8 billion euros to support Serbia's and Bosnia and Herzegovina's (BiH) recovery from floods in May. Of the amount, nearly 810 million euros will go to BiH, and the remaining 995 million will go to Serbia.


The European Commission recommended that Serbia suspend the construction of the South Stream pipeline until it is fully in line with European law, the Politika daily wrote. The Commission noted it is not against the project, but is against the way the project is being carried out.


Slovenia ranks 28th in the world -- the highest ranking in the region -- in this year's Global Innovation Index. Other country rankings include Cyprus at 30th, Croatia (42), Bulgaria (44), Greece (50), Turkey (54), Romania (55), Montenegro (59), Macedonia (60), Serbia (67), BiH (81) and Albania (94). The index ranks world economies' innovation capabilities and results as a driver of economic growth and prosperity. It is published by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, the France-based business school INSEAD, and Cornell University in the US.


The Serbian parliament approved laws that reduce job protection and raise the retirement age for women from 60 to 65 years as part of efforts to revive the country's economy and fight unemployment. The legislation was passed despite massive protests organised by trade unions.


Bulgaria has overtaken France as the world's biggest producer of lavender oil. Since 2011 the country has doubled its production from 60 metric tonnes to 120 metric tonnes this year, according to Nikolay Nenov, expert at the Bulgarian National Association for Essential Oil, Perfumery and Cosmetics.


Macedonia issued seven-year bonds worth 500 million euros, its first international bond sale in five years. The sale started at a yield of 4.37 percent. The country made its debut on the European bond market in 2005 by issuing 10-year bonds.


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has approved a 100-million-euro credit line for Albania's Deposit Insurance Agency (ADIA). The funds, fully guaranteed by the government, will be used to compensate insured depositors if and when necessary.


A Turkish businessman will build a 35,000-square-metre resort complex worth 100 million euros in Constanta at Romania's seaside. The Blaxy Premium Resort & Hotel is expected to become operational by 2016.


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Turkey's Central Bank cut two of its three main interest rates citing favourable global liquidity and a limited decline in the local inflation rate. The benchmark repurchase and overnight borrowing rates were cut by 50 basis points to 8.25 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively.


Austrian energy group OMV has found a new oil reservoir in the Black Sea, off Romania's coast. The company said the production potential of the reservoir is 1,500-2,000 barrels of oil equivalent daily.

(Various sources -- 17/07/14-23/07/14)

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