Spain is to part privatise its state lottery. The sell-off would make it the world’s largest listed gambling company worth as much as 25 billion euros.
Thirty percent of the lottery will be sold raising up to 7.5 billion euros.
The lottery is massively popular in Spain, particularly the Christmas draw known as El Gordo – the Fat One.
Reportedly the government will choose three advisors next week with a view to listing the state lottery on the stock exchange in October.
However, analysts have concerns about the government meeting its schedule given a long Spanish summer and new regulations yet to be passed.
A banking source said the risks are remote, while the lottery business is a “cash cow” paying huge dividends and so will attract fierce competition.
Credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service said this month that Spain’s asset sale plans were intended to show markets it was trying to cut its debt, but that likely receipts would not be enough to change the country’s debt metrics.