ECONOMY

In Brief

Eurobank shares to trade ex-rights Monday Shares of EFG Eurobank will trade ex-rights on August 27, the bank said yesterday after the securities regulator approved its rights issue prospectus. Eurobank, Greece’s second-largest lender by assets, will proceed with a 2-for-15 1.2-billion-euro rights issue at 20 euros per share to fund growth and acquisitions abroad. The bank will issue a total of 61,444,496 new shares. The new shares will be entitled to the 2007 dividend. The exercise period for the rights issue will run from Aug 31 to Sept 14. Rights will trade from Aug 31 to Sept 10. Eurobank has said its main shareholder, the EFG Group with a 41.2 percent stake, would fully participate in the capital increase, exercising all its rights. Eurobank, with a market value of 12.3 billion euros, has a network of more than 900 branches outside Greece and employs 10,500 people. (Reuters) Turkish markets fall, more volatility seen ahead ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish assets fell yesterday with other risky markets, while investors looked forward to the likely election next week of Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul as president, but also expected more global uncertainty. The lira weakened 0.5 percent on the day to close on the interbank market at 1.3290 against the dollar, while the main share index fell 1.2 percent to 46,824 points. Finansbank economist Inan Demir said the lira was unlikely to strengthen beyond 1.32 to the dollar next week. «Next week the markets will be focused on global markets… I don’t think concerns are eliminated over subprime and wider losses,» he said. «It’s widely seen as a foregone conclusion that Gul will be elected in the third round and there won’t be much fallout,» he added. The yield on the benchmark May 6, 2009 lira bond rose to 18.43 percent from Thursday’s 18.08 percent. Upholding expectations interest rates will remain high, the central bank said yesterday stickiness in inflation was a significant risk. OPAP Greek gaming monopoly OPAP is targeting revenues of 2 billion euros from its flagship fixed-odds sport betting game Stoichima this year, its managing director said yesterday. «Our target for the game remains almost 2 billion euros sales for the year and (winners) payouts approximating 59 percent,» Vassilis Neiadas told an analysts conference. Analysts were concerned winners’ payouts for Stoichima would significantly increase and hurt OPAP’s profit since the firm took the risk management of the game in-house. «From January 1 until yesterday, I can confirm that it (Stoichima payout) has been contained below 70 percent,» Neiadas said. (Reuters) MPB linked to Eureko? Cyprus media reported yesterday the Cypriot insurance arm of Marfin Popular Bank was in talks with European financial groups, including Dutch insurance group Eureko, on cooperating in the Balkan markets. A merger with two of MPB’s subsidiaries, Laiki Insurance and Laiki Cyprialife, was not ruled out, the reports said. A spokesman for MPB in Nicosia declined to comment. (Reuters)