ECONOMY

In Brief

OPAP and Intralot finalize IT deal Europe’s biggest betting firm OPAP is close to finalizing a new IT deal with Greek lottery systems provider Intralot, a source close to the deal said yesterday. «The deal will be probably announced tomorrow or the day after,» the source told Reuters. «The legal and technical departments are still working on some details of the document.» Analysts say the deal, to provide OPAP with new terminals, could be worth up to 120 million euros, depending on its duration. OPAP’s current 65-million-euro contract with Intralot expired yesterday and there has been a verbal agreement for a two-day extension until the new deal is clinched, the source said. Media reports suggested Intralot will also offer OPAP software for the lottery’s flagship sports betting game Pame Stoichima and the launch of new games. They said the deal, which could also include maintenance services, could be for three years with the option for a one-year extension. (Reuters) Aegean Airlines first-half passenger traffic grows 19 pct Recent Athens bourse listing Aegean Airlines said yesterday passenger traffic grew 19 percent in the first half as its load factor improved. Aegean, which went public in late June raising 136 million euros, said it carried a total of 2.34 million passengers in the six-month period. For the whole of last year, it carried 4.45 million. The carrier, which competes with Olympic Airlines, said passenger traffic on flights abroad rose 35 percent as it increased flights to Milan, Sofia and Bucharest. Aegean is renewing its fleet, having placed an $800 million order with Airbus for 19 A320 jets. The carrier took delivery of the first three aircraft in March. (Reuters) Harboring tourism Passengers arriving at Greek ports in the last quarter of 2006 increased by 35.5 percent year-on-year, as they reached 247,000 people, the Merchant Marine Ministry announced yesterday. Those departing from the country’s ports were 198,000, or 10.1 percent more than the same period in 2005. Passenger numbers aboard coastal ships rose by 15.8 percent annually, although vehicles traveling by ferries decreased by 3.4 percent. Bourse H1 net up Hellenic Exchanges, the operator of the Athens stock and futures markets, said first-half net profit grew 32 percent to 40.2 million euros on stronger clearing and fee income. The operator said group revenues grew 18 percent to 72.1 million euros. Average daily trading volume on the Athens Exchange rose 12 percent year-on-year in the first half to 440 million euros. (Reuters) Turkish trade deficit Turkey’s trade deficit widened 18 percent year-on-year in June to $5.486 billion, the Turkish Statistics Institute said yesterday, compared with a median forecast of $5 billion in a Reuters poll. Exports rose 14.2 percent to $8.927 billion in June, while imports climbed 15.6 percent to $14.414 billion. The trade deficit for the year’s first half stood at $28 billion, a 6.1 percent increase from H1 last year. (Reuters)