BUSINESS

Greece names fifth privatization agency chief in four years

Emmanuel Kondylis, a business administration professor, to become new TAIPED chairman

Greece has appointed a management professor to head its privatizations agency, the fifth leadership change since the agency was launched in 2010 to sell off state assets as required by the country's international bailout.

Emmanuel Kondylis, a business administration professor, will be the new chairman of the privatizations agency TAIPED, which has fallen behind on privatization targets that form part of Greece's 240 billion euro international bailout.

Kondylis, who has held top managerial posts at several Greek companies, will replace Constantinos Maniatopoulos who took over in October, the finance ministry said on Monday. It did not give a reason for the replacement of Maniatopoulos.

Greece also nominated Pashalis Bouhoris, a former banker, to replace TAIPED's current chief executive Ioannis Emiris.

Athens has so far signed privatization deals worth 4.9 billion euros since the its bailout four years ago, raising 2.69 billion euros in cash. The sum is far below an original target of 22 billion euros for 2010-2013. This has often been due to limited investor interest, plus regulatory and legal hurdles.

Greece has slashed this year's privatization receipts target to 1.5 billion euros from 3.6 billion after a plan to sell state natural gas company DEPA stumbled.

The country clinched its biggest privatization deal, a 915-million-euro property lease at the site of the former Athens airport, this year.

The nominations of Kondylis and Bouhoris are expected to be approved by a parliamentary committee. [Reuters]

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