WORLD ECONOMIC & MARKET DEVELOPMENTS
GLOBAL MARKETS: The majority of major European equity markets opened modestly lower on Monday as investors eagerly await the outcome of today’s Eurogroup, which is scheduled to convene at 14:00GMT. In FX markets, most of major currency pairs consolidated within recent ranges.
GREECE: The Eurogroup is scheduled to convene today at 14:00 GMT where the Greek issue is expected to feature high on the agenda. According to press reports, if today’s Eurogroup does not produce a final outcome, an emergency Eurogroup will likely take place on Thursday (Feb. 19) followed by, if needed, an EU Council meeting on Friday (Feb. 20). In an interview published in local press on Sunday, Greece’s Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis expressed his optimism that a deal between Greece and Europe will be sealed, even at the last minute. In other news, the first round of voting in Parliament for the election of the President of the Hellenic Republic is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, Feb. 18. The ECB also meets on Wednesday to reassess Greek banks’ access to the ELA facility.
SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE
SERBIA: According to recent local media reports citing Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, the 36-month precautionary IMF Stand-By Arrangement will probably be sealed on February 23rd.
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BULGARIA: According to the latest NSI data, real GDP growth slowed to 1.2%YoY in Q4 2014 from 1.5%YoY a quarter earlier.