Greece begins sale of gaming monopoly OPAP

The Greek privatisation fund on Thursday said it had launched an international tender for the sale of the state?s 33-percent stake in the gaming monopoly OPAP.

?The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund announces the launch of an international public tender process for the sale of its 33 percent shareholding in the Hellenic Football Prognostics Organisation (OPAP),? the agency said.

The tender is to run until October 19.

?The complete privatisation of OPAP will be carried out transparently, rapidly and with efficiency,? OPAP chief executive Yiannis Emiris pledged in a statement.

Greece is under pressure from its international creditors — the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank — to offload 19 billion euros ($24.5 billion) in state assets by 2015 in return for bailout loans.

OPAP is Greece?s most profitable state company, clearing a net profit of 126.1 million euros in the first six months of this year.

Earlier this month, the government said it would impose a 30-percent levy on the company?s mixed gaming profits until 2020, and a five-percent take to 2030. [AFP]

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