ECONOMY

In Brief

Intralot wins South Korean lottery license Greek lottery systems supplier Intralot clinched a new deal in South Korea yesterday, expanding its presence in the lucrative Asian gaming market. Intralot, the world’s second-largest lottery systems supplier, said its Nanum Lotto consortium won a five-year exclusive license to operate lotto games for South Korea’s national lottery. Intralot will start operating the lotto games, which have an annual turnover of $2.5 billion, through 9,000 online terminals early in December, it said. «The deal in South Korea is positive for Intralot, as it signals the firm’s entrance in a new Asian market, where revenues from gaming are high,» HSBC analyst Paris Mantzavras said. Intralot, already present in Taiwan, the Philippines and Malaysia, has rolled out an aggressive expansion plan in recent years, clinching deals on six continents. (Reuters) EU urges Cyprus to speed up euro preparations BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission urged Cyprus yesterday to speed up practical preparations for joining the eurozone on January 1, 2008, but said Malta’s efforts were on track. «The Commission… concluded that Cyprus has made good progress, but must speed up preparations now. Malta’s practical preparations are well advanced,» the European Union’s executive said in a statement. Practical preparations include making sure euro coins and notes arrive on time, familiarizing citizens with the planned changeover and taking measures against rounding up prices by retailers. Turk markets ease Turkish shares, the lira and bonds all eased yesterday, trimmed by profit-taking as investors took a cautious stance ahead of next weekend’s general election, dealers said. The lira closed at 1.2730 against the dollar on the interbank market, easing slightly from a close of 1.2710 on Friday. The main share index, which has hit record highs in recent sessions, ended 0.6 percent lower at 51,774.43, having risen more than 4 percent last week. «The stock exchange is going through a period of consolidation after gains in recent weeks. Depending on foreign expectations this consolidation may continue,» said Iktisat Investment Assistant General Manager Murat Iman. The secondary bond market was also slightly weaker, with the yield on the May 6, 2009, benchmark bond rising to 17.69 percent from 17.66 percent on Friday. (Reuters) Romania unemployment Romania’s unemployment rate fell last month to its lowest level in 15 years, according to employment agency data that highlighted the extent of migration from the new EU member state. «The jobless rate was 4 percent at the end of June,» Ovidiu Vitiuc, spokesman for the ANOFM agency, told Reuters. Romania is struggling to plug a growing shortage of workers, mainly in the construction sector, as more than one in 10 Romanians have left the country since the fall of communism in 1989, seeking higher wages abroad. (Reuters) Turkish joblessness Turkey’s unemployment rate, measured on a moving three-month average, was 9.8 percent in the March to May period, the Turkish Statistics Institute said yesterday. Between February and April the jobless rate stood at 10.4 percent. (Reuters)