ECONOMY

In Brief

Intralot announces Chilean contract Gaming systems software-maker Intralot announced yesterday it had won a lottery operations and services contract to supply and support an integrated online network for Chile’s state lottery. The company said in a statement the contract was for seven years, with an option to renew for another two years. Intralot will introduce new-generation games of chance for the Chilean lottery organization Polla Chilena, including videolotto and games offered via the Internet, as well as mobile phones and digital television. The official beginning of operations is scheduled for August 2002 and is expected to contribute significantly both to the turnover and profitability of the Intralot group, the company said. A subsidiary company, Intralot de Chile, will be set up to oversee the project. Intralot said the Chilean contract is part of its strategy to expand in the Latin American region, a market with the highest growth globally in games of chance. (Reuters) All 17 closed-end funds are trading at a discount Greece’s 17 closed-end funds were all trading at a discount to their net asset values (NAV) at end-September, the Union of Institutional Investors (UGII) said yesterday. The Athens bourse’s investment company index underperformed the broader market in the second half of September, losing 1.77 percent versus a drop of 0.99 percent in the benchmark general index. Dias, the best performer among the closed funds, was trading at a 7.4-percent discount. The Aspis and Piraeus funds, on the other hand, were trading at a 38.6-percent discount. Bond issue canceled. The Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA) announced yesterday it is canceling a 20-year syndicated bond issue planned for mid-November this year, after consulting with primary dealers.. ..Taking into account the strong cash position of the Hellenic Republic, and to avoid any risks of distortions and supply-side shocks in the most vulnerable sector of the market under current circumstances, PDMA decided to postpone the launch of a new 20-year benchmark for this year, the agency said. It said its fourth-quarter funding program will be completed with an auction of a current 10-year benchmark, which will take place November 27. The auction will be considerably less than that originally planned, the most immediate consequence will be that buybacks will be minimized, PDMA said. (Reuters) Investment product. NovaBank will launch a new investment product, NovaMax bond, on Monday, October 15, offering fixed income investors a way to get higher rates. NovaBank said its new product offers investors a 6.5-percent interest rate for one-third of their capital in a three-month time deposit and the choice of placing the remaining two-thirds in its bond mutual funds. The minimum investment is 10,000 euros (3,407,500 drachmas). The bank’s NovaMax series offers investors rates on three-month time deposits of up to 7 percent for part of their capital and the choice of forming a fund portfolio from its stock and bond mutual funds for the remainder of the invested amount. (Reuters)