Turkey says probe will not impact growth
Turkey’s deputy prime minister said on Tuesday the political turmoil sparked by a high-level corruption probe would not impact the government’s forecast for economic growth. Ali Babacan said in a television interview the projection for 2014 was for a 4 percent rise in gross domestic product, adding, “We have no reason to revise this target.” The government is forecasting growth of 3.6 percent for this year, down from highs of close to 9 percent in 2010. Babacan played down risks stemming from the political crisis as “temporary.” Turkey’s national currency took a tumble after the corruption scandal, hitting record lows against the US dollar last week. Government spokesman Bulent Arinc said Monday that the crisis had cost the economy $100 billion. But the Turkish markets have bounced back this week. The lira was being traded 2.1332 against the dollar on Tuesday after hitting a record low of 2.17 last week. The Istanbul stock exchange meanwhile was down a slight 0.27 percent after surging 6.4 percent on Monday. Among those charged in connection with the graft probe is Suleyman Aslan, the chief executive of Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank, which is accused of being involved in illegal gold sales to Iran in return for energy imports. Babacan said the government was reviewing candidates to possibly replace Aslan, whose fate as head of the bank may be decided in a few weeks.
Athens-listed company Lavipharm announced on Tuesday that France’s Laboratoires Lavipharm SA, in which the Greek company holds a 45 percent stake, sold and transferred Hitex SAS, a 100 percent subsidiary, to French companies Fiag Holding, Codif Recherche & Nature and Robertet for 3,127,000 euros on Monday. This transaction is expected to have a favorable impact on Lavipharm’s financial results up to December 31, 2013. Hitex is active in the domain of research and development in supercritical fluid technologies.