ECONOMY

In Brief

OPAP expects Kino to make up for Stoihima shortfall Gaming company OPAP expects a 26 percent rise in first-quarter sales, boosted by its Kino numerical betting game, it said in a stock market filing yesterday. OPAP posted a 9.3 percent rise in revenues in the first quarter of 2004 to 695.2 million euros ($901.2 million), adjusted for the reversal of one-off provisions and expenses for unfunded pension liabilities. The Kino game was launched in November 2003, and has been a runaway success for OPAP. The company also confirmed it was in talks with Greek gaming system operator Intralot to upgrade Stoihima, a football betting game and a major revenue generator, to make it more attractive to players. Earlier Intralot said in a stock market filing it was discussing with OPAP how to improve Stoihima’s gross revenues and profitability. Analysts said Stoihima faces competition from online betting. Revenues fell 2.3 percent last year. (Reuters) IMF experts to advise gov’t on spending management International Monetary Fund experts began their two-week visit in Athens yesterday aiming to provide technical assistance in managing public expenditure. They will meet the Economy Ministry’s leadership and other officials from several ministries, and present proposals to Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis for improving procedures for containing state spending. Imported fertilizers Deputy ministers for agricultural development, Alexandros Kontos, and development, Yiannis Papathanassiou, agreed to set up a work group to monitor the cost of imported fertilizers in comparison with other EU countries, after information that prices in Greece are much higher than in rest of the EU, pushing agricultural products’ prices higher. The work group will also study the fertilizers’ trading system in other EU states. Athina Sat Hellas Sat announced the signing of the agreement with Athina Sat in Nicosia to carry the Greek satellite’s first Greek-speaking pay-TV platform for a five-year period. Following successful tests, the platform will start broadcasting six channels to subscribers in Cyprus, where it has the rights for, from the end of May, eventually planning to provide 19 channels catering for all tastes, for 25.67 Cyprus pounds per month, although smaller packages will also be available. Turk Telekom Turkish conglomerate Koc Holding said yesterday it had agreed with industrial group Sabanci Holding to disband their consortium set up to bid in the privatization of Turk Telekom. In a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange, Koc said it would stay in the privatization process for a 55 percent stake in the fixed-line operator, which analysts say might be worth several billion dollars in total. (Reuters) MSc in real estate studies The Athens-based privately run iCon International Training college is offering exclusively for Greece and Cyprus the MSc/Diploma in Property Investment and Finance in association with the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK. The degree is approved by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).