ECONOMY

Quest for private sector funds

The Greek Public Real Estate Corporation (KED), which manages an estimated 75,000 pieces of state-owned properties nationwide, will take on three advisers to help it execute an ambitious relocation program for ministries and public service departments. Addressing a conference on state properties and how best to utilize them, Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said KED is expected to sign agreements shortly with German bank Bayerische Hypo-Und Vereinsbank, the Investment Bank and UK real estate consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton. «The advisers will assist KED in implementing the [ministry relocation] program,» he said. KED will mobilize private financing initiatives, leasing, and sale and leaseback methods to fund the project, estimated at 210 million euros over the next two years, Christodoulakis said. Mobilizing private sector financing would reduce the burden on the state budget and public debt and at the same time free up resources for social programs, Christodoulakis said. KED is due to play a catalytic role in the property market with the setup of a real estate investment subsidiary with a portfolio of 24 properties, he said. The company is waiting for an operating license from the Capital Market Commission. The government has drafted preliminary legislation establishing the framework for concession agreements to encourage growth in this sector, he said.