ECONOMY

Parliament paves way for Cosco to raise its OLP stake

parliament-paves-way-for-cosco-to-raise-its-olp-stake

Greek lawmakers on Thursday approved an amended deal with Chinese shipping group Cosco that will allow it to raise its stake in Greece’s biggest port of Piraeus, paving the way for Greece to secure a major investment.

Under a 2016 Greek privatization deal, Cosco Shipping bought a 51% stake in Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) for 280 million euros.

It then committed to mandatory investments worth about €294 million over five years to purchase an additional 16% stake for €88 million.

Cosco was due to fulfill this key condition by August, but it ran out of time, blaming delays beyond its control, and has been in talks with the Greek government to resolve the issue.

Last week, Cosco and Greece agreed to amend their 2016 agreement, which they said would “settle effectively” all issues which arose during the implementation of the mandatory investments.

Shipping Minister Giannis Plakiotakis acknowledged that Cosco has concluded only a third of the mandatory investments or about €99 million so far, but this was partly due to litigation and bureaucracy. [Reuters]