Greece delays Piraeus Port Sale

Piraeus Port. Photo: Milan Gonda / Shutterstock.com
Piraeus Port. Photo: Milan Gonda / Shutterstock.com

ReutersATHENS, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Greece has pushed back the date for the submission of binding bids for the sale of its biggest port Piraeus (OLP) by two weeks to December 15, at the request of potential bidders, the head of its privatisation agency said on Thursday.

It is the second time in less than a month that the sale process has been delayed. Greece last month pushed back the date from Oct. 30 after September elections and resistance from local authorities.

China’s Cosco Group, Danish container terminal operator APM Terminals and Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services were to submit bids on Dec. 3 for a 51 percent stake in OLP.

“Investors have asked for a two-week extension… to have enough time to check (the company’s) financial data”, the head of the privatisation agency, Stergios Pitsiorlas, told Reuters.

Privatisations, which have been a key condition of Greece’s international bailouts, were effectively halted after a new leftist government took power in January. They were kickstarted again as part of a third bailout the country clinched with international lenders in the summer.

Pitsiorlas also said Greece was on track to sign a deal next month to lease 14 regional airports to Germany’s Fraport .

The deal will need to be cleared by EU competition authorities and the Greek parliament to take effect. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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