ECONOMY

Privatization revenues target is set at 3.56 bln

The official target for 2014 privatization revenues has been set at 3.56 billion euros, according to the draft budget tabled on Thursday in Parliament.

This means that the sell-off revenues target for 2014 will be almost three times as high as the revenues of 1.3 billion euros to be collected this year. So far most of the revenues have been collected (956 million euros), while the takings from the sale and leaseback of 28 state buildings are expected by year-end and payment for the stake in natural gas transmission network operator DESFA – sold to Azeri company SOCAR – will be cashed in during the first half of 2014.

According to the privatizations report submitted with the draft budget, privatization fund TAIPEDhas 14 sell-off projects in progress, with several more expected to start soon: EYDAP, Hellenic Petroleum, Public Gas Corporation, the Kavala oil reserve, marinas, 12 ports, Athens International Airport and Hellenic Post.

An emphasis has also been placed on the utilization of public real estate property: “TAIPED is implementing a particularly ambitious program for the utilization of the state’s real estate,” the report notes, adding that “the properties to be utilized are mostly plots of land which require considerable time before they will be ready for utilization.” By the end of the year, the report says, TAIPED will take over the utilization of some 1,000 properties out of a total 3,000. “For 2014 the target is for the collection of revenues amounting to 3.56 million euros,” the report concludes.

Since 2011 the privatization program’s revenues have come to 3.8 billion euros in nominal prices. However only 2.6 billion of that has been cashed in, with the outstanding amounts concerning the rest of the payment for the lotteries (580 million euros), DESFA (188 million), the 28 state buildings (261 million) and the cell phone network licenses (64 million), among other projects.

On Thursday TAIPED announced the completion of one more privatization project: the utilization of a property at Aghios Ioannis at Sithonia in Halkidiki, Central Macedonia. During its session yesterday the TAIPED board accepted a revised offer by Ioannis and Georgios Mentekidis amounting to 9.61 million euros.

According to TAIPED, the Mentekidis construction company is active in the property market in northern Greece, and the utilization of the above property, which covers 253,000 square meters, will require the investment of some 50 million euros, which will contribute to the upgrading of tourism in the broader region and create a considerable number of jobs.