Greece to Speed Up Port Privatizations

Greece has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with its international lenders which stipulates that the binding bid dates for the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki must be announced by October, Reuters reports.

By signing the MOU Greece has agreed to speed up the sale of state-owned assets including airports, its power grid operator, and two of its largest ports.

The proceeds from the sales and privatization of national assets are expected to reach EUR 6.4 billion by 2017, Reuters reports.

The MOU is a prerequisite for Greece if it wants to gain access to around EUR 85 billion offered through a new bailout program.

Back in May, the government of Greece has invited China’s Cosco Group, Maersk Group’s APM Terminals, and Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) to present their bids for a 51% stake in the Piraeus port.

The companies are to present their bids by September, with an option for the stake to increase up to 67% if the chosen company invests EUR 300 million in the port over a period of five years.

The previous government led by Antonis Samaras had shortlisted five companies, including Cosco, for a 67% stake in the port, but the sale was scrapped by the newly elected leftist government led by Syriza’s Alexis Tsipras.

World Maritime News Staff

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