ECONOMY

Piraeus port sale to be delayed a few weeks

piraeus-port-sale-to-be-delayed-a-few-weeks

Greece will put off by a few weeks the sale of a majority stake in its largest port, Piraeus, after a September 20 snap national election held up work at ministries, government officials said on Tuesday.

Setting a date to submit binding bids for Piraeus port is one of the actions that Athens needs to complete to conclude its first bailout review and qualify for more funds from its 86-billion-euro bailout.

China’s Cosco Group, Dutch container terminal operator APM Terminals and Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services currently have until October 30 to submit binding bids for a 51 percent stake in Piraeus Port Authority (OLP), the port operator.

But the early election has held up work and the deadline may be pushed back, government officials said.

“We will fall behind by about 20 days because the concession agreement that the Shipping and Finance ministries have to sign is causing a short delay,” a government official close to the matter told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The Shipping Ministry still needs to review the draft agreement before it is presented to investors, another official said, adding that the re-elected minister had received the relevant material only “very recently.”

[Reuters]