ECONOMY

Consultants wanted for 7 sell-off projects

After the sale of another stake in OTE telecom, the government is planning to move ahead with more privatizations in hopes of collecting 1.7 billion euros by September. The new sell-off package includes less attractive companies such as the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE), Hellenic Post, the Mont Parnes casino and others.

The Finance Ministry yesterday announced it was preparing to hire financial and technical consultants for seven separate privatization projects.

These are the sale of a 40 percent stake in Hellenic Post, the utilization of regional airports, the utilization of marinas and small ports, the use or sale of OSE properties, the sale of a 51 percent stake in the Mont Parnes casino and the renewal of other casino licenses, the sale of a 55 percent stake in Larco and the concession of mining rights at various locations across the country.

The government is eyeing the sale of at least 40 percent of Hellenic Post to a strategic investor who will also undertake the company?s management. The state has a 55.2 percent stake in Larco and the government will be expecting the consultants? proposal for the best possible use of the holding.

As far as regional airports are concerned, consultants will have to prepare a national airport policy in cooperation with Athens International Airport and the Civil Aviation Authority. The main aim will be the grouping of regional airports (with the exception of Iraklio), with each group of terminals conceded through contracts to private investors.

A similar model will be used for the utilization of small ports and marinas across Greece by the private sector. Consultants will also be expected to propose any investment or adjustments required to boost the value of those assets.

The mining rights concession concerns three locations: in Halkidiki, where the rights have been conceded to Hellenic Gold, at Peramos in Thrace, where the rights have been granted to Thrace Gold Mines, and at Sappes in the prefecture of Rhodope. Consultants will have to propose the creation of a special purpose company to which the mining and utilization rights will be transferred.

Finally, the consultants must issue a recommendation on the optimum use of OSE group companies, TrainOSE and EDISY, as well as the best possible utilization of OSE?s property assets.

The deadline for expressions of interest by candidate consultants is next Monday.