Sell-off target will not be met

The representatives of Greece’s international creditors and the state privatization fund (TAIPED) on Monday agreed that the country will not be able to make the 2.6-billion-euro target for revenues from privatizations this year, although they stopped short of revising it.

After the failure of the first tender for the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) and the risk of a cancellation of the deal for the OPAP gaming company due to the buying consortium’s strong reaction to the firm’s conduct, TAIPED has been scrambling to find alternative sources of revenues.

As a result, during the meeting between TAIPED and the representatives of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, it was agreed that procedures for other sell-off projects would be speeded up, given that the only revenues TAIPED has managed to bring in this year was the 69 million euros from the concession of the International Broadcasting Center (IBC) to Lamda Development last summer.

Regarding DEPA, a second tender will be announced as soon as possible which will be conducted at a faster pace, in just one stage, without the nonbinding offers phase. Sell-off projects initially scheduled for later will now have to be brought forward and if possible conducted by the end of the year.

Among the companies in question is Public Power Corporation (PPC), which was originally going to be fully privatized by end-2015. Now sources say that the government will be hoping to complete the PPC sell-off project within 2013. TAIPED will also attempt to accelerate the sale of Piraeus Port Authority (OLP), which had been planned for early 2014, along with the last remaining state stake in OTE telecom, amounting to 6 percent. Another 4 percent in OTE could also be sold off, although this does not belong to the state but to the Social Security Foundation.

Finally TAIPED will seek a way for the immediate sale of real estate properties to take place, possibly through an electronic auction that would rapidly privatize a large part of the properties belonging to the state.