ECONOMY

In Brief

Levy on lottery winnings suspended until May The Greek Finance Ministry said yesterday it suspended a 10 percent tax on lottery winnings announced earlier this year until April 30, 2010. «Article 35 of law 3775/2009, which concerned the imposition of a 10 percent tax on all lottery winnings, is suspended from its beginning until April 30, 2010,» the statement said. As a result, small lottery winnings of up to 100 euros go untaxed. (Reuters) State revenues off 15 percent in Cyprus Cyprus’s tax revenue fell 15 percent in the first 11 months of the year as fewer real-estate sales in the euro area’s second-smallest economy led to a decline in income from capital gains tax. Total receipts for January to November fell to just under 1.56 billion euros ($2.24 billion) from slightly more than 1.83 billion euros a year earlier, the Cypriot Inland Revenue Department said yesterday in a statement on its website. Government revenue from taxes on real-estate sales plunged 77 percent to 66.3 million euros from 291 million euros. Property sale contracts fell 47 percent in the period, according to the Cyprus Department of Lands and Surveys. Cypriot unemployment in November rose 73 percent from a year earlier as construction and real-estate workers lost their jobs amid the global recession, the Cyprus Statistics Service said on December 3. The number of tourists, who boost the economy through holiday-home purchases, fell 11 percent in the 11 months through November 30. (Bloomberg) Bourse sale The Warsaw Stock Exchange, central Europe’s biggest bourse, plans to offer shares to the public in the first half of 2010 after halting its sale to Deutsche Boerse AG last month, Chief Executive Officer Ludwik Sobolewski said. «As the CEO of the bourse, I can say I will do my best to make sure the company’s shares will debut on the exchange in the first half of next year,» Sobolewski said in an interview with Radio PiN yesterday. The state-owned bourse, the third-largest in emerging Europe after Russia and Turkey, with a market capitalization of $147 billion, received one final bid in an offering to strategic investors last month. Poland rejected Deutsche Boerse, saying the Frankfurt-based company had failed to map out a development strategy for its bourse. (Bloomberg) Romanian rates The interest rate cost of Romanian state debt is seen at about 1 percent of gross domestic product in 2010, close to this year’s levels, Deputy Finance Minister Bogdan Dragoi said yesterday. Romania hopes to have a cost-cutting 2010 budget bill approved by mid-January, which would reopen the taps of a 20-billion-euro ($29 billion) aid package from the International Monetary Fund. The budget envisions cutting the fiscal deficit to 5.9 percent of GDP from this year’s 7.3 percent target. (Reuters) Capital hike Romania’s largest oil and gas group, Petrom, which is majority owned by Austrian OMV, is planning a 1-billion-euro ($1.44 billion) increase in its share capital, a government source said yesterday. «(Petrom’s) capital hike might amount to some 1 billion euros,» the source told Reuters. (Reuters)