ECONOMY

In Brief

Updated consumer price index more representative of the times The consumer price index is being updated in a more representative way, containing 101 new commodities, while 42 old ones have been excluded. Compiled by the National Statistics Service (NSS), the index will consist of 784 products and services from 24 cities in Greece. Among commodities off the index are answering machines and catalytic converters for cars, while new ones include the Rio-Antirio bridge toll and cell phone text messaging rates. The food and non-alcoholic beverages grouping now carries less weight, while alcoholic beverages and tobacco weighs more in the new index. Eurobank first-quarter profits much higher than had been expected EFG Eurobank reported yesterday a 45 percent year-on-year rise in first-quarter group net profit, above market expectations, on continuing strength in retail lending. Greece’s third-largest lender by assets said net profit after minorities grew to 157.3 million euros. Analysts in a recent Reuters poll were expecting a 29.3 percent year-on-year rise in net earnings on average, to 140.3 million euros National’s rights The National Bank of Greece has called a third shareholders meeting to vote on its 3-billion-euro rights issue to finance the purchase of a stake in Turkey’s Finansbank after a meeting yesterday did not reach a quorum. An official of the bank said a further meeting would be held later this month. «Tuesday’s repeat shareholders meeting was reset for May 23, due to a lack of quorum,» the official said. Last month, Greece’s largest lender clinched a deal to buy 46 percent of Finansbank for 2.3 billion euros, venturing into Turkey as part of its expansion. The terms of the rights issue have not been disclosed. Intralot Lottery company Intralot said yesterday it won a 10-million-euro deal to provide an online gaming system for the state lottery in the Philippines, further boosting its presence in the country. Intralot said it won the contract from Pacific On-Line, a games operator in the southern Philippines for state lottery Philippines Charity Sweepstake Office (PCSO). Intralot subsidiary Total Gaming Technologies clinched a 10-year deal to provide an online gaming system for the Philippines’ state lottery in 2004. (Reuters) Galis sells Nick Galis, the owner of 36.84 percent of the listed accommodation firm by the same name, sold his stake yesterday to coastal shipping firm SAOS of Fotis Manousis for 1.9 million euros. The transfer concerned 980,000 shares for 1.94 euros each. The buyer intends to invest in hotels and tourism services. OBI denial German do-it-yourself retailer OBI denied yesterday a Bulgarian minister’s claim that it planned to open stores and invest 300 million euros in Bulgaria. «It is definitely not true. We have no plans for Bulgaria,» said Johanna Meessen, spokeswoman for OBI. (Reuters)