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OPAP Stake Sale Drives Up Value

OPAPThe value of Greece’s gambling agency, OPAP, has shot up fast in the wake of accelerated privatization plans that foresee the sale of the government’s plan to sell a 33 percent stake. That came as Greece’s international lenders are pressing the government to pick up the pace of selling or leasing state properties and entities.
OPAP shares went up 5.4 percent on the Athens Stock Exchange. The stock has added 29 percent since the start of the year, giving it a market value of 2.2 billion euros ($2.9 billion.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras met with the heads of the county’s privatization board to directly co-ordinate plans for faster privatization, spurring some optimism that there will finally be action after nearly three years of foot-dragging.
He told Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) Chairman Takis Athanasopoulos and Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis to get moving on implementing the country’s asset sales plan, a key part of efforts to raise revenue and cut debt, according to reports from Kathimerini and the Bloomberg news agency.
The HRADF said Jan. 9 that it will send a draft purchase agreement to investors selected for the second phase of the OPAP stake tender and call for binding offers. That sale, along with those pending for the state-run natural gas company DEPA and grid operator DESFA make up about 80 percent of Greece’s targeted revenue from state asset sales this year, Eurobank Equities said in a note.

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