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Opap Rises After Binding Offers on 33% State Stake: Athens Mover

April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Opap SA, Greece’s biggest gambling company, rose as much as 6.1 percent after the country’s state asset sales fund announced that two groups submitted binding offers for a 33 percent stake, bringing the tender one step closer to completion.

Opap advanced 5.5 percent to 6.97 euros at 11:50 a.m. in Athens, snapping three days of losses. The stock has added about 29 percent since the start of the year, giving it a market value of 2.22 billion euros ($2.87 billion).

Greece’s state asset sales fund board will evaluate the offers submitted by Emma Delta and Third Point LLC at a meeting next week, according to a statement from the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund late yesterday.

“We evaluate it as a positive catalyst for the stock,” Athens-based IBG Research analyst Dimitris Birbos wrote in a note today. “The conclusion of the privatization and the appointment of a new management team will unfreeze Opap’s investment plans” relating to the introduction of video lottery terminals and the offering of Internet games.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s government has pledged to speed up state asset sales, a key plank in cutting the country’s debt. Proceeds from the sale of the Opap stake as well as natural gas company Depa SA and grid operator Desfa SA will make up the bulk of 2.3 billion euros Greece needs to raise from asset sales this year, HRADF Chief Executive Officer Ioannis Emiris told Bloomberg in an interview on March 15.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Weeks in Athens at nweeks2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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