BUSINESS

TAIPED says DEPA sale to begin in November

TAGS: Privatizations, Energy

Greece will launch a tender in November to sell a majority stake in gas company DEPA’s commercial operations, the country’s privatization agency (TAIPED) said on Monday.

Greece has agreed with its foreign creditors on DEPA’s privatization plan, which involves splitting DEPA into two entities, one covering its wholesale and retail gas supply business, and the other its distribution network and international activities.

Greece, which holds a 65 percent stake in DEPA, will look to sell 50 percent plus one share in DEPA’s commercial activities, according to an updated privatization plan published on TAIPED’s website.

Greece will start the sale of a 14 percent stake in DEPA’s distribution networks once it divests the company’s commercial activities, according to the revised plan.

Athens also expects to conclude a deal this year which extends a concession of Athens International Airport for 1.1 billion euros, more than double the initially agreed price, a privatization agency official said. This might help Greece exceed this year’s target for privatization proceeds of 2 billion euros, the official also said. [Reuters]Greece is a bridge between Europe and China, and cooperation between the two countries could develop much faster and to a greater extent, Greek Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis told Xinhua.

The Greek official made his remarks before departing Monday for an official five-day visit to Beijing and Shanghai, where he will hold talks with Chinese officials on further strengthening bilateral relations.

“We have excellent relations as peoples and countries especially in recent years in the financial and trade sector. We believe we are a bridge between Europe and China for the economy, as well as for culture,” Voutsis told Xinhua.

Greece and China have made significant progress in recent years in their cooperation in many sectors and particularly in the context of the China-Greece strategic partnership as well as the Belt and Road Initiative, but more could be achieved, Voutsis said.

“Greece’s efforts to strengthen relations with China are not without obstacles. There are some obstacles which are inherent in EU (European Union) rules and which on a number of occasions are enlarged in proportion to the ‘threat’ that some Europeans feel of China’s role,” he said. [Xinhua]

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