ECONOMY

Chinese bank on bumpy road to Athens

The opening of a branch in Athens by China Development Bank, the largest investment bank in the Asian country, is not an easy affair.

Beijing is asking for more guarantees to open a branch, or two, in Greece in an issue that was touched upon by State Minister Haris Paboukis during a recent visit to China.

The Chinese Investment Bank?s presence in Greece is considered to be an important step towards boosting bilateral trade ties between the two nations, helping ease the flow of capital into the shrinking Greek economy.

Local companies have been increasingly looking for a way to tap growth by expanding into foreign markets, such as China, while Chinese firms eye the south eastern European region through Athens.

Power utility PPC and pharmaceutical company Alapis both announced earlier this month deals hooking up with Chinese partners.

China?s Cosco has already struck a deal with Greece to manage two container terminals at Piraeus for the next 35 years in one of the largest foreign investments to take place in the country for several years.