In Brief

Emporiki Bank first-quarter results expected today Emporiki Bank, Greece’s fourth-largest lender, today is to announce its eagerly awaited first-quarter results under international accounting standards, which are expected to reveal sizeable unfunded social insurance obligations. Sources said these are projected to be around 1 billion euros, against 1.5 billion originally estimated. The publication of the deficit will open the way for bringing Emporiki under the provisions of the law for settling the hot potato of banks’ pension fund issue, and for replenishing its capital base against which the deficit has to be written. Emporiki, about 42 percent controlled by the government, has the largest pension fund deficit by far among Greek banks. Intralot acquires Polish betting operator Totolotek Gaming systems operator and developer Intralot announced yesterday that it had acquired Polish fixed-odds sports betting operator Totolotek for 3.4 million euros. Intralot said the purchase price would be paid in three annual installments. Totolotek’s sales in the first quarter of 2005 were 10.2 million euros, generating earnings before taxes of 350,000 euros. The company has a 33 percent share of the Polish betting market, Intralot said, adding that the market has significant growth potential since per-capita spending on betting games is low. Totolotek has a network of around 400 agencies, with half owned by the company and the rest by agents. Intralot said it will increase the number of these outlets. (AP) Cyprus unemployment Cyprus’s unemployment rate rose to 3.4 percent in June, up from May’s reading of 3.1 percent, the statistics department said. In numerical terms, the jobless rate rose by 1,256 people to 12,197. Most of the newly unemployed were teachers in privately run schools, the department said in a statement yesterday. Year on year there was also rising unemployment in the construction sector, it said. (Reuters) Visa Greek Visa cardholders spent more than 7.5 billion euros in January-March 2005 through their 5.6 million debit, credit and corporate Visa cards. This signifies a 29.4 percent annual rise in spending, while the number of cards rose by 7.1 percent from the first quarter of 2004, Visa announced yesterday. The greatest rise came in debit card spending, which grew on a yearly basis by 154.6 percent reaching 2 billion euros, showing the growth in the use of debit cards, Visa Europe’s Southern Europe bureau director, Nikos Cambanopoulos said. Bounced checks Bounced checks have rose considerably in the first five months of the year, year-on-year, despite a relative decline in May. In the January-May period bounced checks rose to 52,130, going up by 35.17 percent from the same period last year, and their total amount reached 572 million euros, a yearly rise of 48.54 percent. On the other hand, unpaid bills of exchange came to 54,199, posting a 13.31 percent decline year-on-year, while their amount fell to 71.1 million euros, that is 18.51 percent less than last year.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.