In Brief

EU leaders approve Cyprus, Malta euro entry BRUSSELS (AFP) – EU leaders gave their backing yesterday for Cyprus and Malta to adopt the euro, clearing the way for the two Mediterranean islands to join the 13-nation eurozone in January, the EU presidency said. At a Brussels summit, the heads of state and government from the 27-nation European Union deemed the two nations, which joined the bloc in 2004, to be ready for the euro, giving top-level political backing to their euro ambitions. The European Commission set Cyprus and Malta on the path to the euro last month by ruling that they had met the strict macroeconomic criteria needed to become members of the single European currency club. Bank of Cyprus sells 500-mln-euro bond NICOSIA (Reuters) – Bank of Cyprus placed 500 million euros in three-year senior debt yesterday, with a coupon of 20 basis points over three month euribor, it said. The issue was oversubscribed, with the total subscription amount reaching 2 billion euros. The notes were allocated to institutional investors mainly from Germany, France, the UK, Portugal and Austria, it said. The paper was issued as part of the bank’s euro medium-term note program. The notes, priced at 99.915, will be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Joint lead managers were Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs International and Natixis. Bank of Cyprus has said the proceeds of the issue will be used to fund customer loans in Romania and Russia, two new markets for the lender. Expo center at airport The Athens International Airport yesterday signed a contract with Rota, J&P-Avax and Damco Energy for the development of an exhibition and conference center at the airport. The center will operate in 2009, with spaces totaling 50,000 square meters, 3,000 parking places and services rivaling the best exhibition centers in Europe. The conference center will be supportive to the exhibition center, with a capacity for 700 people. ‘Yugo’ lottery? Years after breaking apart in a series of bloody interethnic wars, the constituent parts of the former Yugoslavia are considering a reunification of sorts – of their national lotteries. «We formed an association in which countries will exchange experiences and conduct market research with the possibility of launching a common lottery,» Nora Cecic, a spokeswoman for the Croatian Lottery, told AFP. The association formed this month by Bosnia, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia would also be open to other countries of Southeastern Europe, Cecic said. (AFP) Attica deal Attica Publications signed an agreement with Netmed Hellas for the exclusive carriage of Playboy TV and Private Spice on the Greek satellite platform Nova for an additional 9.99 euros per month.

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