ECONOMY

In Brief

Intralot signs deal with Dutch lotteries Greek lottery systems supplier Intralot said yesterday it signed a contract to provide Dutch lotteries De Lotto and De Nederlandse Staatsloterij with a central system. Intralot said its subsidiary, Intralot Nederland, signed a seven-year contract with both companies with an option to be extended for three more years. The new system will start operating in the third quarter of 2009. «(The project) is considered to be one of the most technologically advanced projects ever implemented in the global gaming industry, creating new potential for the sector,» said Intralot CEO Constantinos Antonopoulos. Intralot will provide and maintain the two competing lotteries with a common central system along with 5,500 terminals, the Greek company said. (Reuters) Ocean Rig sees no bidder competing with DryShips OSLO (Reuters) – Norwegian oil rig group Ocean Rig expects no competing bid to the one made by Greek dry-bulk carrier DryShips Inc, Ocean Rig Chairman Geir Aune said yesterday. DryShips has 71.07 percent of Ocean Rig’s stock, which it says will help diversify its assets and cash flow. «There is little chance of a competing bid, given the large shareholding already controlled (by DryShips),» Aune said in a webcast presentation of Ocean Rig’s first-quarter earnings. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose to $32.2 million in the first quarter from $15.2 million in the same period of 2007. Turkish c/a gap Turkey’s current account deficit, already seen as the economy’s weak spot, is seen at around $50 billion this year, Economy Minister Mehmet Simsek said yesterday. That compares with an average forecast in a central bank external expectations survey, published last week, of $43.094 billion, and a government forecast of $39.2 billion made late last year. The gap in 2007 was $38.0 billion. Inflation came in at 9.15 percent in March, more than twice a year-end target of 4 percent. (Reuters) Turkey-IMF Turkey’s Treasury said yesterday it had sent a letter of intent to the International Monetary Fund after its last loan review, and expected a tranche of some $3.7 billion to be released. It said the IMF board was expected to meet on May 9 to discuss the review. «The letter of intent was signed and sent yesterday to the IMF,» the statement from the Turkish Treasury said. (Reuters) Migros sale The sale of a majority stake in Turkey’s largest retailer Migros to private equity firm BC Partners is expected to be completed by the end of May, an executive at Migros owner Koc Holding said. Omer Bozer, head of Koc Holding’s retail and food group, told reporters the handover had been held up by the need for regulatory approval from several countries and other formalities. (Reuters)