ECONOMY

In Brief

Short-selling ban to be lifted as of next month Greece’s securities regulator decided to lift a ban on short selling shares, the CEO of the Athens exchange said yesterday. «The Capital Market Commission decided to lift the short-selling ban from September 1,» Spyros Capralos, the chief executive officer of bourse operator Hellenic Exchanges, told Reuters. «The ban on naked short selling will continue,» he said. Short selling was banned on April 28 as the country’s debt crisis escalated and was to last for three months until June 28. The regulator then extended the ban to August 31. (Reuters) Greece starts talks on regulating gambling The Finance Ministry said yesterday it had opened a public discussion into how best to regulate the country’s gambling sector, including combating illegal betting. The discussion will be used as a basis for a law that will effectively deal with the problem of unrestricted gambling in the Greek market, according to an e-mailed statement from the ministry. (Bloomberg) Earnings down Intralot, the world’s second-largest lottery systems provider, is seen as posting a 38 percent drop in first-half net profit, hurt by a levy Greece imposed on large firms to boost its ailing finances. Analysts polled by Reuters forecast on average net profit of 26 million euros ($33.02 million) versus 42 million in the same period last year. Intralot offers gaming platforms and operates sports betting and video lotto machines to online casinos in about 50 countries around the world. The Greek tax is seen as shaving off about 5 million euros of the firm’s net profit, according to analysts. Higher payouts Intralot offered to winners during the Soccer World Cup in June in a bid to boost its market share also weighed on its bottom line. Sales are seen up 9.5 percent to 534.6 million euros, mainly thanks to increased betting in Italy during the World Cup and the acquisition of a Jamaican gaming operator. «This should offset the continued top-line weakness in Bulgaria after the increase in the gaming tax,» Citigroup said in a note. Earnings are scheduled for release on Tuesday. (Reuters) Power plant Toshiba Corp plans to invest 4 billion yen ($47.4 million) to build a 10-megawatt solar-power plant in Bulgaria in 2011, the Nikkei newspaper reported yesterday without saying where it got the information. The Japanese electronics conglomerate plans to develop its solar business in Italy and the US after developing its first project in Bulgaria, Nikkei said. The company plans to build eight more solar-power plants in Europe in 2015, the report said. Toshiba will buy solar photovoltaic panels from suppliers and provide its own inverters to the plant, to be located in the southeastern city of Yambol, the report said. Toshiba couldn’t be reached for comment. (Bloomberg) CEC sale Romania may list as much as 5 percent of shares in state-owned CEC Bank on the Bucharest stock market, Finance Minister Sebastian Vladescu said. A sale of shares in the country’s last state-owned bank could begin next year, Vladescu said yesterday in an interview in Bucharest. (Bloomberg)