WORLD ECONOMIC & MARKET DEVELOPMENTS
GLOBAL MARKETS: Taking their lead from the positive tone in Wall Street overnight, the majority of European bourses were firmer in early trade on Friday supported by more positive than expected corporate earnings results and increased M&A activity. In FX markets, the AUD was among the main underperformers amid heighted market expectations for lower interest rates by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) at its monetary policy meeting early next week. On the data front, focus today is on the advance estimate of US GDP for Q4 2014.
GREECE: In a joint conference y-day that followed the meeting with Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens, European Parliament President Martin Schulz said that the two politicians share the same view on many issues “while others need more discussion” and expressed his view that the new Greek government does not aim to “follow a separate path”. Meanwhile, Greece’s Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis is scheduled to meet Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem in Athens today. On the data front, the most recent Bank of Greece data showed that euro-denominated deposits & repos of domestic households and non-financial corporations in Greek MFIs excluding the Bank of Greece (BoG) dropped in December for the third month in a row, mainly due to political uncertainty ahead of the January 25 snap general election.
SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE
SERBIA: In the EBRD’s Transition Report 2014, Matteo Patrone, EBRD’s country head for Serbia, expressed the organization’s ongoing interest in acquiring equity shares in Telekom and Dunav Insurance.
BULGARIA: According to Eurostat data, the number of nights spent by non-residents in Bulgaria fell by 2.3%YoY to 14mn in 2014, mainly as a result of a decrease in the number of tourists from Russia and Ukraine.
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