OPAP to take a bet on Turkey

Shares in Europe’s biggest betting group OPAP jumped 2.8 percent on the Athens bourse yesterday, outperforming the broader market, after announcing it will submit a binding bid today for a license to operate Turkish national lottery Milli Piyango. Shares in OPAP, which has a market capitalization of 6.7 billion euros, ended at 21.10 euros. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index advanced 1.01 percent to 1,901 points. «We are ready… [Our bid] will be submitted early tomorrow [Wednesday],» OPAP Chief Executive Christos Hadjiemmanuil told Reuters. «We have every capability to win the tender at the right price.» OPAP met preliminary tender criteria for a 10-year license to operate Milli Piyango in a joint venture with Turkish business group Dogus, which owns Garanti Bank, FIBA and contractor Alarko. The deadline for binding bids expires today. Analysts see OPAP’s expansion in Turkey as a catalyst for the future growth of the company.