ECONOMY

In Brief

Alpha Bank may show 54 percent drop in profit Alpha Bank SA, Greece’s third-biggest lender, may report second-quarter profit fell 54 percent as income from lending shrank and loan-loss impairment charges increased. Net income probably declined to 95.4 million euros ($134.6 million) from 209.1 million euros a year earlier, according to the median estimate of six analysts Bloomberg News surveyed by telephone and e-mail. Lending income may have dropped 6 percent to 428.4 million euros, the survey showed. Loan-loss charges may have more than doubled to 167.3 million euros from 74.4 million euros. The company is scheduled to report earnings next Tuesday after the Athens stock exchange closes. (Bloomberg) Delek drops interest in Greek gas stations Delek Group Ltd’s talks on buying a group of gas stations in Greece have been broken off, the company said late Tuesday in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. (Bloomberg) Nuclear power Turkey’s energy minister highlighted yesterday problems in a tender won by a Russian company to build the country’s first nuclear power plant amid media reports that Ankara could cancel the project. A consortium led by Atomstroyexport, Russia’s state nuclear giant, was the only bidder in the tender last year and the government – unhappy with the financial terms – is yet to decide whether to go ahead. «If such a high price has emerged with just one company… if we are unhappy with the price, it means there is a deficiency,» the Anatolia news agency quoted the minister, Taner Yildiz, as saying in the southern city of Antalya. The project, estimated to cost about 21 billion dollars (14.9 billion euros), envisages the construction of four nuclear reactors with a total capacity of 4,800 megawatts at Akkuyu, in the Mediterranean province of Mersin. Yildiz, who was only appointed energy minister in May, said he would have chosen a different strategy to attract more bidders if he had held the portfolio at the time of the tender. (AFP) OPAP earnings Europe’s biggest betting firm OPAP is expected to report a 7.9 percent decline in second-quarter net profit as competition from foreign online bookmakers hurt sales and a key lottery game loses some of its novelty. OPAP has a monopoly on sports betting and lotteries in Greece until 2020. But its major sport betting game, Stoichima, which saw strong growth in past years, is now facing stiff competition from foreign Internet bookmakers, despite online betting being illegal in the country. Six analysts polled by Reuters forecast group net profit of 163.3 million euros ($230.3 million) on average, a fall of 7.9 percent year-on-year. Second-quarter sales are seen down 3.9 percent year-on-year to 1.327 billion euros as a contained 7.6 percent growth of OPAP’s popular Kino lottery, which makes up half of turnover, only partly offset Stoichima’s losses. Also weighing on sales is a negative base effect as revenues from last year’s European Soccer Cup were not repeated this year. Results are due August 25. (Reuters)