Chinese interest in Greek assets grows

Fifty “high-profile” Chinese companies have shown an interest in state-owned assets being sold by Greece’s government to help the European nation cut its debt, the official China Daily reported over the weekend.

Greek officials from agencies including the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) attended a forum in Shanghai last week to market projects including land development, gaming, banking and energy, the newspaper said.

Greece’s government said in April last year that it planned to raise 35 billion euros from the sale of state-owned assets by 2015 as part of a 50-billion-euro program to reduce public debt.

The development fund said in October it cut its target for revenue from privatizing assets to 11.1 billion euros by 2016 from 19 billion euros by 2015. Investment firm Shanghai International Group is among Chinese companies seeking opportunities in Greece through its $2 billion Shanghai International Global Acquisition Fund, China Daily said, citing Cheng Baoliang, the head of the fund.

Some business opportunities in Greece are highly complementary to the group’s projects in Shanghai and it has expressed an interest in Greece’s tourism and resource sectors, Cheng was quoted as saying. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd, China Development Bank Corp, China International Capital Corp and COFCO Corp were among state-owned companies attending the event, the Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po newspaper reported on Saturday.

Fosun Group, China Rongsheng Heavy Industries Group Holdings Ltd and Jiangsu Yurun Food Industry Group Co were among other companies that took part, it said. [Bloomberg]