ECONOMY

In Breif

Marfin says HQ move made for legal reasons Marfin Popular Bank Vice Chairman Andreas Vgenopoulos said yesterday the bank’s recent decision to move its headquarters from Nicosia, Cyprus, to Athens was made for legal reasons and will not harm the lender’s customers or employees. Cyprus’s regulatory framework is not in line with the group’s interests and does not suit the company’s planned expansion or strategic moves, Vgenopoulos said in Nicosia yesterday. He indicated that Marfin had been unfairly treated by Cypriot authorities, as he spoke about a lack of transparency. The restructuring of the company is expected to be complete in four months. Intralot wins six-year New Hampshire deal Greece’s Intralot, the world’s second-largest lottery systems supplier, said yesterday it has made a six-year deal to supply the New Hampshire Lottery with a system for online games, its ninth award in the United States. Under the contract, Intralot will create a communications system for the lottery that will connect more than 1,250 terminals and related peripherals. It did not provide financial details. In April, Intralot clinched deals with the Ohio and Louisiana lotteries. Seeking to benefit from the opening of world gaming markets, Intralot has started sports betting and lottery operations in Spain, Italy and the Australian state of Victoria in the last two years. (Reuters) Currency devaluation Bulgaria will not opt to nor be forced to devalue its currency peg to the euro to tackle risks arising from its external imbalances and the economic crisis, Finance Minister Plamen Oresharski said. The best option for the European Union newcomer to exit the 1.95583 levs per euro peg and its currency board regime – introduced in 1997 after a financial meltdown – is to join the eurozone, he told Reuters in an interview on Monday. «I don’t think [devaluation] is a realistic projection because before that many other policies should go wrong to reach a situation where the peg would be put under pressure,» Oresharski said. «I don’t think there are such dangers because in the past 12 years, fairly reasonable policies have been implemented.» Bulgaria and the Baltic states, which have also pegged their currencies to the euro, depend on foreign cash flows to fund their huge current account deficits, accumulated during the boom years of credit growth and imports. (Reuters) Refinery profits MOL Nyrt, Hungary’s largest oil refiner, reported a third consecutive quarterly loss on the weaker forint and as the recession cut demand for energy. The net loss was 124.9 billion forint ($601.5 million), or 1,249 forint a share, compared with profits of 65 billion forint, or 792 forint a share, a year ago, MOL said yesterday in a stock exchange filing. The median estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had been for a loss of 65.4 billion forint. (Bloomberg) Vodafone earnings Vodafone Group Plc, the world’s largest mobile-phone company, said full-year earnings rose as the pound weakened against the euro and revenues advanced in emerging markets such as India. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization in the 12 months to March increased to 14.5 billion pounds sterling ($22.3 billion), in line with analysts’ expectations. (Bloomberg)