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Ekonomia Economic News and Developments.

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Old December 28th, 2005, 09:17 PM   #81
genci888
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Nope but who cares. Her face looks like a foot....

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Old December 31st, 2005, 09:46 AM   #82
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Albanian Economy 2005, growth lower then expectations (Table)
Tirana, Dec. 27 (AENews) – “Economic growth was slower this year due mainly to the energy crisis,” Ministry of Finances announced in its year-end analysis.

This year is expected to close with a 5.25% GDP growth, compared to the 6% growth level planned.

Average inflation for this year is expected to be around 2.2%, busted especially by the lower cost of imported goods which were in turn favored by lowered customs duties and the strengthening of the Lek.

The current price for the Gross Domestic Product is estimated to have reached LEK 837 billion (EUR6.86 bn).

Main economic indicators 2005 2006
GDP current price ( mln Lek ) 836879 899700
Real growth (% ) 5.25-5.8 5.5-5.0
GDP per capita ( in $ ) 2518 2.695
Inflation ( in % ) 2.2 2.5
Exchange rate ( lek/usd ) 106.4 106
Trade balance (mln usd ) -1746 -1846
- Exports (mln usd) 652 709
- Imports (mln usd) 2398 2555
Total revenues (% ndaj PBB) 23.9 24.6
Total expenditures (% ndaj PBB) 27,7 28.7
Deficit (% ndaj PBB) -3.9 -4.1

Source: Ministry of Finance


EDIT: SORRY ABOUT THE GRAPH....WOULDNT WORK!
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 09:00 PM   #83
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Hyatt Threatens to Quit Albania as Tax Quadruples
ATHENS, Greece and ALBANIA -- As reported by Euro2day Newswire Athens: "Greek casino group Hyatt Regency has threatened to close down its casino in Albania after the government there unexpectedly decided to quadruple taxes on slot machines.

"The casino is in the capital, Tirana, and commenced operations on Dec 7, with an initial capacity of 21 tables and 240 slot machines. "Hyatt effectively owns 30.6 pct of the casino but is expected to receive a management fee of 3 pct of sales plus 10 pct of EBITDA for running the casino, broker HSBC Pantelakis said..."
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 01:27 AM   #84
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The way you put the location in the begining of the article, it seems that Athens belongs to both Greece and Albania.

You should edit that part, or else the Greeks will come and make that an example of how the Albanians want to go to war with Greece and steal parts of it.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 05:04 PM   #85
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How usual for Albanian Goverment(s) ... I mean being so business unfriendly.
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Old January 16th, 2006, 07:42 PM   #86
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Albania Ranks Highest in Economic Freedom in SEE

While still lagging behind the rest of the Southeast European (SEE) countries in terms of economic freedom, Romania and Turkey are among the countries that achieved greatest improvements in this area in 2005, a report released Wednesday (4 January) indicates.

"The most improved country in this (North America and Europe) region is Romania, followed closely by Armenia, Georgia, and Turkey," the Heritage Foundation and the <I>Wall Street Journal</I> said in their joint annual Index of Economic Freedom. "Romania improved by 0.39 points this year, making it the world's second most improved country."

The 2006 Index ranked 157 nations on the basis of ten factors. These include trade policy, fiscal burden of government, government intervention in the economy, monetary policy, capital flows and foreign investment, banking and finance, wages and prices, property rights, regulation and informal (or black) market activity.

Each country is given a rating of 1 to 5 for each measure, with 1 being the best. Those scores are then averaged to create an overall score, which determines an individual country's classification in one of four groups. Of all 157 countries surveyed, 20 are classified as free economies, 52 as mostly free, 73 as mostly unfree and 12 as repressed.

As in all 12 previous annual editions of the Index, Hong Kong and Singapore finished 1st and 2nd in the rankings. They are followed by Ireland, Luxembourg, Iceland, Britain, Estonia and Denmark and -- jointly in ninth place -- Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Despite its notable progress over the past 12 months, Romania -- with an average score of 3.19 -- was ranked 92nd. Turkey, which improved by 0.30 points, received a rating of 3.11 and was ranked 85th. The two countries, along with Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), which was ranked 74th on the basis of an average score of 3.01, are the only SEE countries classified in the "mostly unfree" group.

Romania's worst scores of 4.0 are for monetary policy, property rights, regulation and informal market. Its best scores of 1.5 and 1.9 are for government intervention and fiscal burden, respectively.

Turkey's worst ratings of 4.0 are for monetary policy and regulation. The country scored best in terms of trade policy and government intervention, with 2.0 and 2.5 points, respectively.

BiH, where economic freedom has been steadily improving since 1998, received the best possible score of 1.0 for its monetary policy. However, ratings of 5.0 for property rights and regulation suggest a need for serious improvements in those areas.

Of the other SEE countries, Macedonia, Albania and Croatia have also improved their scores, by 0.20, 0.18 and 0.17 points, respectively.

Of all SEE countries, Albania is ranked highest -- 52nd on the basis of an average score of 2.75. Croatia took 55th place with an average score of 2.78, and Macedonia 57th with a score of 2.80. All three countries received the best possible score of 1.0 for their monetary policies. Their worst grades of 4.0 are for factors such as property rights and regulation.

Greece, which shares the 57th position with Macedonia and Jordan, retained its score of 2.80. The country received its best scores of 2.0 for trade policy, government intervention and monetary policy, while fiscal burden was graded worst, at 4.0.

Of all the SEE countries, economic freedom appears to have deteriorated in Bulgaria in 2005 -- for the first time since 1998. The country's average score of 2.88 is 0.14 points lower than last year, placing it 64th in the world. Its best grades of 2.0 are for foreign investment, banking and finance and wages and prices. As in the case of Albania, Croatia and Macedonia, Bulgaria's worst grades of 4.0 are for property rights and regulation.

"Notwithstanding a dramatic increase in the foreign ownership of land, the legal system remains largely ineffective, allowing organised crime and corruption to hamper investment," said the authors of the 2006 Index.
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Old January 19th, 2006, 12:17 AM   #87
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Albania signs new agreements with IMF, World Bank
18/01/2006

The Albanian government signed a draft three-year agreement with the IMF on 11 January. The deal sets out a number of guidelines for Albanian institutions, including setting a realistic budget and threshold for tax collections, as well as improving control over expenditures. The IMF Board is expected to approve it on 27 January

"I am pleased to notice that during these months, developments are on the right track to guarantee macroeconomic stability and stable development," Prime Minister Sali Berisha said at the signing ceremony. "It is also important to implement, in the second half of the year, a fiscal package which will encourage the economic growth and employment for Albanians," he added.

The document was signed in the presence of Berisha, IMF Mission Representative Ann Margaret Westin, Finance Minister Ridvan Bode, and Bank of Albania Governor Ardian Fullani.

"We believe that this is a very good programme, a solid and conservative one. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the government and all the key counterparts for the very close and very efficient co-operation, and in particular the very strong initiative that they showed regarding this reform," Westin told journalists.

Referring to conditions set forth in the agreement, Berisha said improved fiscal administration is at the base of his government's programme. The conditions, he explained, include "reduction of the fiscal system in the future, establishing a friendly environment for business, a serious endeavour to regulate financial markets … and continuation of the privatisation process".

Meanwhile, the World Bank announced on 10 January that it would loan Albania $196m until 2009 as part of its new strategy of support for the country. The funds, to be disbursed through the International Development Agency and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, will go towards boosting economic growth and fighting poverty through support of private sector initiatives and improved peformance of public services.

"The aim of this strategy is to support the Albanian National Strategy of social and economic development and the process of negotiations for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU," said the chief of the World Bank mission in Tirana, Nadir Mohammed.

The Bank is also urging Albania to improve the way it manages foreign aid programmes meant to fight poverty and unemployment. "The challenge for the new government is how to implement the projects, how to get the results," the AP quoted Mohammed as saying Tuesday (17 January). A previous World Bank loan of $130m did not produce the expected results, particularly in improving governance, he added.

http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setime.../18/feature-02
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Old January 19th, 2006, 12:25 AM   #88
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lets hope
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Old January 27th, 2006, 03:54 AM   #89
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Signs of change in Albania's banking system

26/01/2006

By Erlis Selimaj for Southeast European Times in Tirana – 26/01/06

Quote:
Albania's banking market has developed over the past two years, with more and more services being offered to consumers. Recently, the country registered its 17th commercial bank.
Quote:

Union Bank will be run by the money transfer agency Western Union. [Western Union]
In a sign that commercial bank activity is developing in Albania, authorities recently registered the country's 17th such institution. The firm, Union Bank, will be run by the money transfer agency Western Union. It is expected to open a network of branches across Albania, using the infrastructure established through Western Union's money transfer activities.

The banking market has developed over the past two years, with more and more services being offered -- including debit and credit cards as well as Internet banking. ATM machines have been installed across the country, while banks have sought to expand their business into areas beyond the capital.

Nevertheless, the banking system remains a work in progress. As of now, there are only commercial banks, and no investment or import-export banks. The mortgage market suffers from high interest rates and a lack of transparency. Last year, an IMF mission issued a report recommending that banks do more to inform their clients about conditions and risks associated with taking out a loan, including the effects of fluctuating interest rates.

The emergence of commercial banks brings obvious benefits to consumers. Authorities are also counting on the trend to help efforts to counter the large informal economy -- seen as a major barrier to Albania's economic growth.

According to the IMF, the gray market accounts for up to 50 per cent of economic activity in the country. Officials at the Bank of Albania (BoA), meanwhile, estimate that up to 26 per cent of money in Albania circulates outside the banking system -- a figure that represents a decrease from past years, but remains high in comparison to international standards.

"This situation is the result of a lack of information among the public regarding the banking system, and is also connected with economic and financial crime," BoA officials say.

Building a modern financial system is closely tied to the effort to curb informal economic activity, since it will help reduce the widespread dependence on cash. The BoA is already implementing a pilot project distributing wages through bank accounts, and the state has moved to stop the practice of paying public employees in cash.
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Old January 27th, 2006, 05:30 AM   #90
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Bank of Albania published its monetary policy framework paper for 2006. The paper included the inflation target, the M3 objective and limits for government direct financing.

The average inflation target for the next year is 3%, +/- 1%. The M3 growth objective is 11.8%, while limits for the state budget expenditures financed by the central bank are projected at LEK 23.8 bln, (USD 228 mln, EUR 193 mln), according to the paper.

In an attempt to improve analysis in determining the inflation target, the central bank said it would try to introduce for the first time in Albania the Business Sentiment Index, Consumers Confidence Index, and the Real Estate Index.

Up till now, the Business Sentiment Index has been published by a privately owned research institute, and has been used primarily as a news source rather than a factor for political decision-making.

In terms of structural reforms, the Ministry of Finance is now seeking to find agencies to provide credit rating services for the public debt issued in local currency, in an attempt to issue treasury papers in foreign currency also.

Moreover, the Albanian Institute of Statistics has announced that it is trying to build a collecting-data-system capable of producing a quarterly GDP growth report.
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Old February 4th, 2006, 06:45 PM   #91
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Kurum Bankruptcy Leaves 1000 Workers Jobless
Bujana Xhindoli
03 February 2006

The Turkish Company "Kurum" closed down its operations in Elbasan, a move that resulted in the laying off of 1000 workers. The reason for the closing, according to Kurum, lies with the high price of electricity. Kurum (steel and metallurgy industry) was charged to pay 9 Lek per kW/h of electricity, while the other companies in the region pay less than half that price.

Steel Mills closing will stop the horredous pollution in Elbasan.
Steel Mills closing will stop the horredous pollution in Elbasan.
Another reason for the closing is found in the falling production of steel, caused by the low taxes on imported steel and the fact that Albanian Government is not taking the necessary measures to act on the company's demands.

On the other hand, the disagreements between the Turkish company and the Government provide additional burden on the employees, who are now faced with the consequences of unemployment. The Trade Union demanded from the Company to fulfil its Contract with the Government and continue working until 2010, or they would start a general strike in Elbasan and Tirana.

The Elbasan environmentalists say that at least the environment is not suffering from the catastrophic pollution, having in mind that “Kurum” never really invested seriously into filtering equipment.
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Old February 9th, 2006, 02:10 AM   #92
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Albania Discusses Partnership with Microsoft

Bujana Xhindoli
08 February 2006

Last week, Genc Pollo, Albanian Minister of Education and Science, met with Bill Gates, the President of Microsoft Corporation, during his visit to Lisbon, Portugal. In the meeting, Gates reiterated that the improvement of quality of education globally remains one of the priorities of his company.

After the meeting, Pollo said that they discussed the possibility to establish strategic partnership between Microsoft and the Albanian Government.

The agreement will primarily serve the education sector, but also the establishment of e-Government systems in the country, in order to increase the transparency of public administration and facilitate the citizens' relations with it. The Government said that its priority for the coming period is to secure computer equipment and internet access for all schools in Albania.

In December 2005, Prime Minister Sali Berisha and Minister Pollo presented the Information and Communication Technology Master Plan (ICT) for schools, which aims to secure funds from both donor organizations and Albanian business community.

http://see.oneworld.net/article/view/127192/1/
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Old February 9th, 2006, 03:09 AM   #93
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Good news to read thanks ppl keep it up
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Old February 9th, 2006, 03:35 AM   #94
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What was the average net earning(in € please) in Albania in 2005?
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Old February 9th, 2006, 04:27 AM   #95
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This news article is a some weeks old.

Latest ABA branch opens in Lushnje
Tirana, Jan. 13 (AENews) - As part of its expansion plans, the American Bank of Albania opened yesterday its latest branch in the city of Lushnje. The new Lushnje branch will provide the full range of ABA banking services and products for both its corporate and individual customers.

During the inaugural speech, Executive Vice President, Paul Lind, spoke about the city of Lushnje as an important city in which it was reasonable for ABA to expand its activity.

This new branch is an important step in ABA’s ever expanding network of branches and agencies all over Albania.

In speaking about the quality of service that the branch will provide Mr. Lind explained that, “Our purpose is to provide citizens with a western standard of service”.

Since its establishment in 1998, ABA has established a network of 9 branches and 7 agencies, including a branch in Athens, Greece.

The new Lushnje branch is located at Sheshi prane Bashkise, Lushnje and is headed by Vilma Prifti, Branch Manager.
----------------------------------------------------------

The American Bank of Albania is wholly owned by the Albanian-American Enterprise Fund (AAEF), a private non-political, not-for-profit, Delaware-USA, Corporation established pursuant to the USA Government Act for the support for East European Democracy of 1989. The Government of the United States of America provided the capital for the AAEF through a US$30 million grant. The AAEF, which established the American Bank of Albania in 1998, has as a primary purpose to promote private sector development of Albania. To accomplish this, it invests in a wide array of private enterprises and disseminates western business know-how.

The American Bank of Albania (ABA) scope is to offer Albanian and foreign citizens high quality and high security services, to restore the trust of the Albanian citizens in the Banking System after the economic breakdown caused by pyramid’s scheme and help the modernization of the Banking procedures. The Bank was approved by the Bank of Albania and got its license on August 10, 1998, and opened its doors for business on September 24, 1998.


Source: American Bank of Albania
Last Updated ( Friday, 13 January 2006 )
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Old February 9th, 2006, 04:28 AM   #96
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Here is more detailed news of Kurum

Kurum international closed its 100 million USD business in Albania
Tirana, Feb. 3 (AENews) – Turkish steel producer Kurum announced the closing of its steel-production plant in Elbasan, in central Albania, due to several competitive disadvantages incurred last year.

“The company council decided to close due to a combination of factors such as higher electricity price, poor transportation infrastructure, lower customs tariffs for imported steel and lower domestic scrap reserves”, the company announced.

Kurum commenced its activity in Albania in 1998. During 2005, total production reached 145,000 tones for a total market value of USD 100 million.
According the company data, 90 % of all production was sold to the domestic market, while about 10 % was exported to FYROM.

Electricity supply problems affecting the country had adversely affect the company’s activities since 2001. It was at that time that electricity consumption had overran domestic production and the imports were hard to secure due poor and insufficient network capacities.

“In Albania we bought our electricity for LEK 9 (USD 8.7 cent, EUR 7.3 cent) per Kwh. Meanwhile, our international competitors buy their electricity for less then USD 3 cent,” Kurum Albania director, Zeki Kaya, said.

In 2006, the Albanian government lowered its custom tariffs for imported steel to 10 % compared to 15 % in 2005, under obligations to the WTO association agreement.

Kurum said that their total investments for steel production in Albania reached USD 65 million at the end of 2005, meanwhile their business plan was implemented only by 12 %.

The company covered about 65% of the Albanian steel market.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 February 2006 )
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Old February 11th, 2006, 11:45 PM   #97
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[IMG]http://i1.************/nmdsut.jpg[/IMG]
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Old February 16th, 2006, 05:47 PM   #98
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Albtelecom announced FY 2005 preliminary results
Tirana, Feb. 15 (AENews) - The Albanian fixed line telephony Albtelecom announced that during 2005 revenues had grown by 3.7%, reaching LEK 13.3 billion (USD 128 million, EUR 108.4 million).


Meanwhile, expenses were estimated at LEK 11.2 billion (USD 107.8 million, EUR 91.14 million), or 4.1% compared to 2005.
Profit before taxes reached LEK 2.1 billion (USD 20.4 million, EUR 17.3 million). The company declared that for 2006 it planed to increase revenue by 4%, meanwhile profit before taxes at about 15% by reducing at the same time operative costs, according to the announcement.


Albtelecom financial highlights in million LEK

Revenues Expenditures Before-tax profit
2003* 125,249 13,449 -924
2004** 12,860 10,760 2,099
2005| 13,330 11,210 2,119
2006 ^ 13,817 11,383 2,433
* Exchange rate at end period 1 USD = 115 Lek
** Exchange rate at end period 1 USD = 108 lek
| Preliminary data
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Old February 18th, 2006, 11:21 AM   #99
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Albanian companies shopping in Kosova
Tirana, Feb. 16 (AENews) – Albanian companies from Albania and Kosova were very active during the last tender organized by the Kosova Trust Agency (KTA) for the sale of the Beer factory “Birra Peja” and Grand Hotel, the KTA announced.

According to the KTA announcement, the Albanian businessman Mr. Shyqyri Duraku, president of the oil company Eurodrini, offered EUR 6 million as well as committed to invest another EUR 22 million for Hotel Grand which is Kosova’s capital most important hotel.

Another Albanian company Birra Malto sh.a., owner of the Birra Tirana brand (Tirana Beer), offered EUR 5.2 million for the Birra Peja factory. The offer included also a commitment to invest another EUR 12 million in the future.

Birra Tirana won the tender together with the Kosovar businessman, Mr. Ekrem Lluka, whom, in cooperation with his staff and managers of the Birra Peja factory, had offered EUR 3.5 million. These are preliminary results, however. The final decision will be made at a latter time.
Last Updated ( Friday, 17 February 2006 )
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Old February 21st, 2006, 10:55 AM   #100
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What is Albania's main export
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