ECONOMY

In Brief

National Bank 45-pct owned after 3-billion-euro rights issue National Bank of Greece will complete all procedures for the acquisition of 46 percent of Turkey’s Finansbank by the end of July, while the completion of the public offering to the shareholders of the Turkish bank is set for the end of September. The new NBG shares, resulting from the 3-billion-euro rights issue to finance the acquisition, started trading on the Athens bourse yesterday. The new share register will be announced on Friday, with foreign institutional investors estimated to own about 45 percent of the bank now. Competition authority makes list of the best Greece’s Competition Commission was one of the most active internationally in 2005, rising for the first time to the 32nd position among 38 countries monitored by the Global Competition Review, the latter reported. The commission’s restructuring has helped it produce results against practices and deals that stifle competition, making 17 snap checks last year and becoming one of the most aggressive competition authorities, the report suggested. Banks fined The Bank of Greece imposed fines on 16 credit and financing institutions, totaling 390,617 euros, for violations or omissions in informing their clients as well as for hidden transaction charges. It further ruled they should make interest-free deposits of more than 16.3 million euros for six months failing to keep transparency regulations and violating rules regarding the prevention of money laundering. New tobacco plant Papastratos tobacco industry, a Philip Morris International subsidiary, yesterday inaugurated construction of a new plant at Aspropyrgos, western Attica, 75 years after the company’s founding. The 100-million-euro investment will be subsidized by the state with 20 million euros and after its completion in 2008 will have a production capacity of 20 billion cigarettes per year. Intralot deal Lottery operator Intralot said yesterday it had finalized a deal to install software for the Hamburg state lottery in Germany, the latest in a series of IT agreements clinched this year. «Our investment in this project will be the vaulting horse for our future activity in Germany as well as the strengthening of our presence in the European Union,» Intralot CEO Constantinos Antonopoulos said in a statement. The company did not provide financial details. The company said it would provide a base platform and point-of-sale terminal software to state-owned Lotto Hamburg, which had 213.6 million euros in sales last year. (Reuters) Piraeus Bank note Piraeus Bank plans to sell a 10-year Lower Tier II floating rate note (FRN), an official at one of the banks managing the sale said yesterday. The note, callable after five years, will be launched and priced this week, he said. Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs International and Morgan Stanley are managing the deal. The note is expected to be rated Baa2 by Moody’s Investors Service and BBB- by Standard & Poor’s. (Reuters)