In Brief

OPAP short-lists three bidders in bid to boost efficiency Gaming monopoly OPAP yesterday short-listed three companies in its tender to pick a consultant to review operations in a bid to boost efficiency. It chose US-based AT Kearney and Planning, US-based Bain & Company Inc and Icap and McKinsey from nine parties that showed initial interest, it said in a statement. OPAP will reassess the company’s operating structure, including job descriptions and performance indicators, ahead of possible expansion moves. Changes will made immediately but the time frame regarding the measures and a completion date will depend on the proposals adopted, a company source said. A successful bidder will be chosen February 15 and the consultant will need to complete its study by May 15. (Reuters) Cyprus Jan-Nov retail sales grow 10.8 pct y/y NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus retail sales by revenues grew 10.8 percent year-on-year in the first 11 months of 2007, the country’s statistics department said yesterday. Retail sales by volume in the year to November advanced 7.9 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. Cyprus’s statistics department also announced final figures for the January to October 2007 period, with sales by revenues up 10.5 percent and by volume up 7.5 percent year-on-year. Turkish tax Turkish employers’ federation TISK said yesterday the government’s planned 5 percentage point reduction in social security premiums paid by employers was not enough and called for a further cut. TISK Chairman Tugrul Kudatgobilik told a conference that Turkish employers’ premium payments were too high at a current 21.5-27 percent. (Reuters) Romania privatizations Romanian privatization agency AVAS said yesterday it wants to sell its stakes in 283 companies by the end of this year, hoping to raise 1.54 billion lei ($605 million). The agency had initially planned to wrap up the sale of its remaining portfolio in 2007, but selloffs were tangled in slow procedures. AVAS sealed 104 privatization contracts last year. (Reuters)