BUSINESS

Henkel, Cosco demonstrate faith in Greece

By Dimitra Manifava

Moves by international companies are increasingly pointing to greater trust in the Greek economy, with Henkel, one of the world’s top detergent manufacturers, investing in Greece, and Cosco, a leading firm in port services, considering the expansion of its investment in Piraeus.

Henkel has returned to Greece in the production of detergents. Sources say that Rolco-Vianil, one of the country’s oldest enterprises in the sector, is now manufacturing products for Henkel, destined mostly to cover the needs of the local market. However the possibility of exports has not been ruled out.

Henkel’s new cooperation with a Greek firm holds particular significance for the local economy as it illustrates that despite previous problems in this country, the German company still believes it is worth investing here. Henkel had a plant in central Greece until 2000, after which it embarked on a cooperation with Alapis, owned by Lavrentis Lavrentiadis, who is now in custody on embezzlement charges. Henkel’s Dixan, Neomat and Persil brands are popular in Greece.

Meanwhile, Cosco is keen on participating in the privatization of the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP), an interest which has been confirmed by Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, with the China Daily newspaper revealing on Thursday that the Chinese giant is ready to offer 1 billion euros to raise its stake in OLP and promote its development once it has gained control of the Piraeus Port Authority’s management.

However, Cosco is waiting for the Greek government to present its plans regarding the sell-off of ports around the country, and particularly those of Piraeus and of Thessaloniki, which will start in the year’s third quarter. Cosco is expected to bid for the 61 percent stake in OLP that the state management fund (TAIPED) will put up for grabs. Currently, Cosco pays Greece 100 million euros per year for the use of Pier II and the prospective use of Pier III in Piraeus.

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