ECONOMY

In Brief

OPAP seeks to hire adviser for overhaul OPAP, Europe’s third-biggest gaming company, is seeking an adviser to make recommendations on a «full overhaul» of its activities. A consultant will be chosen by February 15 and then will have three months to draw up proposals for a «revised organization structure» and design «key performance indicators,» the Athens-based company said today in a call for bids published in the International Herald Tribune. OPAP, which had sales of 4.63 billion euros ($6.8 billion) in 2006, has a monopoly on Greek sports betting until 2020. The country’s government owns a 34 percent stake in the company. (Bloomberg) Gov’t postpones fuel tax to February 15 The government said yesterday the equalization of the heating and automotive fuel taxes, that was due next Tuesday, will be postponed by 30 days to February 15. Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said the reason for the postponement is the best possible application of the measure, which is designed to fight illegal fuel trading. Separately, his deputy, Antonis Bezas said the new system would also check excessive consumption of heating fuel, buyers of which will get tax rebates. OTE bonds OTE telecom is planning meetings with bond investors across Europe next week, an official at one of the banks involved said yesterday. Citigroup, Dresdner Kleinwort, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have been mandated to organize the credit investor meetings, which will start on January 15, the official said. In addition to updating investors on recent developments, the company will consider accessing the euro market when conditions allow, the official added. OTE is rated BBB+ by Standard & Poor’s, BBB by Fitch Ratings and Baa1 by Moody’s Investors Service. (Reuters) Oil pipeline Representatives of the Russian, Bulgarian and Greek partners in the company that will build the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline yesterday initialed their agreement in Athens. Development Minister Christos Folias, who represented the government, said «a new era begins for the three countries involved.» Russia’s Transneft was represented by its vice president, Vladimir Nemtsev, and Bulgargas by CEO Lyubomir Denchev. The agreement is expected to be signed in Sofia by the end of the month. Leu recovery The Romanian leu crept up from a six-week low against the euro hit earlier in the session yesterday as the central bank soaked up excess market liquidity, but dealers said the troubled currency remained volatile. At 1415 GMT the leu was quoted at 3.6785/32 per euro, after it hit a six-week low of 3.6870 earlier in the session. (Reuters) Sunlight Greek battery manufacturer Sunlight Systems will supply a battery for a 212-type submarine of the Italian navy after winning a tender.