WORLD ECONOMIC & MARKET DEVELOPMENTS
GLOBAL MARKETS: The USD retained a firm tone in European trade on Monday supported by market expectations that the Fed will embark on a rate tightening cycle by Q3 this year. Meanwhile, most of major European bourses were firmer in early trade favored by the unexpected decision of the central bank of China (PBOC) over the weekend to cut both its benchmark interest rate and one-year benchmark deposit rate by 0.25%.
GREECE: Greek Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis was quoted as saying to international newswires that payments to the IMF are a priority for the government which will “squeeze blood out of stone” so as to meet the four principal payments to the Fund due this month amounting to c. €1.5bn cumulatively. On the data front, the year-on-year growth of the retail trade volume index, including automotive fuel, fell by 1.2%YoY in December 2014, marking the second consecutive monthly decline while Greece’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) remained in February below the boom-or-bust level of 50.0 for the eighth month out of the last nine.
SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE
SERBIA: According to the latest data released by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, the final estimate showed that real GDP growth contracted by 1.8%YoY in Q4 2014, with negative annual growth rates of 0.2%, 1.2% and 3.8% in Q1, Q2 and Q3 respectively, bringing the annual rate of decrease for the whole of last year to 1.8%.
ROMANIA: Fitch ratings affirmed on Friday Romania’s long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at “BBB-“ and “BBB”, respectively, with stable outlook.
BULGARIA: According to media reports citing unnamed sources on Friday, the Bulgarian government plans to start a 3-day roadshow on March 16thfor the sale of T- bonds in global markets.
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