Spain pushes ahead with IPO of state lottery

SPAIN’S plans to sell a stake in its state lottery operator are on course to be completed before a November general election, despite volatile markets and opposition from the likely new government.

Loterias y Apuestas del Estado said in a statement it had not changed plans for what would be Spain’s biggest-ever initial public offering – set to raise €7bn for state coffers -- after El Mundo newspaper reported the government might delay the sale.

“I don’t know where that comes from,” economy minister Elena Salgado told reporters in Congress yesterday morning when asked about the story. She said there was “no change” in plans.

“Once the stock market regulator approves the lottery’s IPO prospectus, expected by the end of September, the process will begin for the company to list on the exchange before the first week of November, as expected,” Loterias said.

Two sources close to the deal said analysts were due to begin meeting with investors next week to market the offering of a 30 per cent stake.

The Loterias market debut was still targeted for 18-20 October, one source added.