ECONOMY

In Brief

Kathimerini report on deficient Joker software taken seriously A Supreme Court prosecutor yesterday ordered an investigation into a report concerning scores of improperly annuled slips of the lucky game Joker, operated by the state-run OPAP agency, for the jackpot of Nov. 5. The report, which appeared in the Greek edition of Kathimerini on Nov. 18, said deficient software had frequently been the cause of annulment of slips when the on-line booking system came under pressure previously, but that this time, when long lines appeared at betting offices for the 4-billion-drachma jackpot, the phenomenon acquired the dimensions of an epidemic. Slips would be annuled after being properly endorsed and paid for, without their owners knowing it. The report said the unreliable software, supplied by Intrasoft of the Intracom group – whose other subsidiary Intralot is an OPAP partner – was installed in 1990 and is slated for replacement, but that until then it is also liable to being tampered with by potential fraudsters. Two slips shared the Nov. 5 jackpot. Current account deficit declines Greece’s current account deficit fell by 47 million euros to 594 million in September compared to the same month last year, according to data issued by the Bank of Greece yesterday. In the January-September period, the deficit was down 273 million euros to 4,977 million, mainly as a result of a significant rise in export receipts. Panafon to absorb Nextnet. Mobile operator Panafon got shareholder approval yesterday to proceed with the absorption of its 20-percent owned service provider Nextnet. Panafon said it would issue 9,187,604 new common registered shares for Nextnet shareholders, at a share swap ratio of 1.0697 Panafon shares for each Nextnet share. Panafon’s new outstanding share total will be 543,314,000 shares. After completion of the merger, Panafon will have direct access to 77.5 percent of its customer base, it said. (Reuters) NBG shares reduced. National Bank of Greece (NBG) said yesterday it got shareholder approval to cancel 6,461,100 of its shares that resulted from a conversion of 1,615,275 convertible bonds. NBG’s share capital will now be 349.732 billion drachmas consisting of 228,080,452 shares at a par value of 1,533.375 drachmas each. (Reuters) Exit drachma – for UNICEF. HSBC has installed in selected bank branches collection points for unwanted quantities of drachma coins on behalf of UNICEF, in view of the introduction of the euro on January 1. For more information, tel 0800-72.000 (free toll) or (01) 68.52.400. Coke bottler expands. Bottler Coca-Cola HBC said yesterday it had finalized the purchase of Coca-Cola Co.’s Russian bottling operations. The transaction included operations in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the Russian far east and the acquisition of equity held by the Coca-Cola company in Coca-Cola Molino Beverages, the firm said. Coca-Cola HBC is listed on the Athens, London and Sydney stock exchanges. (Reuters) Banks that bid successfully for the accounts will be given treasury debt papers as assets to balance the new liabilities they have agreed to.