ECONOMY

Airport tenders in the pipeline

It appears that investors will be invited to submit expressions of interest for the operation of Greek regional airports by the end of the year, as sources from the ministries of Development and Infrastructure and the state privatization fund (TAIPED) said on Thursday that the tender for the concession of between 13 and 22 airports will be announced before the end of 2012.

The government intends to concede to private investors the airports that enjoy traffic in excess of 250,000 passengers per year, thus constituting an investment opportunity, while it is possible that there may also be some interest in terminals with traffic between 75,000 and 250,000 passengers per year. For this reason, the number of airports for concession will depend on the level of investor interest expressed.

Airports will remain state property, Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis clarified, and the government will retain a monitoring role.

Also on Thursday the state passed on another 4 percent of gaming company OPAP to TAIPED, which now manages 33 percent of the country?s most profitable company ahead of the tender for a strategic investor. The state retains a 1 percent stake.