ECONOMY

TAIPED quickens pace ahead of troika visit

State privatization fund TAIPED has picked up the pace as the arrival of the troika approaches. The tenders for the two groups of regional airports were announced late on Monday while the sale of four state properties outside of Greece is set to be completed on Wednesday or Thursday.

The transfer of rail service operator TRAINOSE’s shares to TAIPED and the law amendments regarding regional airports, tabled in Parliament last week, are among the prior actions required by Greece’s bailout agreement. This means that the fund and the government are trying to smooth out any bumps that could trouble Athens’s talks with the country’s international creditors, especially in the field of sell-offs.

The fund has decided in favor of the privatization of 14 regional airports in two clusters of seven apiece that could stretch to 10 each for a total of 20 terminals.

TAIPED reserves the right to block the winner of the first cluster’s tender from acquiring the second cluster as well, but does not rule out the possibility of all 20 ending up in the hands of the same investor.

The first stage of the tender is expected to be completed by May 17, including that of expressions of interest. The second will last until the fall, with the invitation for bids, so that the airport concession contracts will be ready by the end of the year.

The sale of four out of the six properties up for grabs abroad will be completed by Thursday.

The buildings in London, Brussels and Belgrade and a plot in Nicosia have attracted bids in excess of 40 million euros, out of which the most significant offer is for a building in London’s Holland Park, for 23 million pounds (27 million euros).