Showing posts with label Privatizations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Privatizations. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

In Greece, China Finds an Ally Against Human Rights Criticism


By NICK CUMMING-BRUCE and SOMINI SENGUPTAJUNE 19, 2017


GENEVA — China has long won diplomatic allies in the world’s poor countries by helping them build expensive roads and ports. Now, it appears to have similarly won over a needy country in Europe.

At a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council this month in Geneva, the European Union sought to draw renewed attention to human rights abuses in China — only to be blocked by one of its member countries, Greece. A spokesman for the Greek Foreign Ministry in Athens called it “unproductive criticism.”

Monday, June 19, 2017

Greece blocks EU statement on China human rights at U.N.

Sun Jun 18, 2017 | 5:43pm EDT

Reuters

By Robin Emmott and Angeliki Koutantou | BRUSSELS/ATHENS
Greece has blocked a European Union statement at the United Nations criticizing China's human rights record, a decision EU diplomats said undermined efforts to confront Beijing's crackdown on activists and dissidents.

The EU, which seeks to promote free speech and end capital punishment around the world, was due to make its statement last week at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, but failed to win the necessary agreement from all 28 EU states.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Greece to Get Some Cash-And Some Idea of Future Debt Relief

By REUTERSJUNE 15, 2017, 8:54 A.M. E.D.T.
 The New York Times

LUXEMBOURG — Greece's international lenders prepared on Thursday to unblock as much as 8.5 billion euros (7.44 billion pounds) in loans that Athens desperately needs next month to pay its bills, and to give some idea of what debt relief they may offer over the long-term.

The chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem told reporters the size of the payment to Athens would be discussed during the meeting, since lenders agreed that Greece had pushed through all the requested reforms.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

ECB Said to Be Unlikely to Include Greece in QE in Coming Months

by Alessandro Speciale
13 Ιουνίου 2017, 2:00 π.μ. EEST

Bloomberg

The European Central Bank is unlikely to include Greek bonds in its asset-purchase program for the foreseeable future, a person familiar with the matter said, as European creditors aren’t prepared to offer substantially easier repayment terms on bailout loans to improve the nation’s debt outlook.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Greece to Launch New Tender for Gas Grid Sale in June-Energy Minister

By REUTERSJUNE 6, 2017, 10:21 A.M. E.D.T.
The New York Times

ATHENS — Greece will launch a new tender competition for the privatisation of its natural gas grid operator DEFSA in June, Energy Minister George Stathakis said on Tuesday.

Stathakis announced the tender in an interview with Greek news website liberal.gr without disclosing details.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Deutsche Invest highest bidder for Greece's Thessaloniki Port

 Mon Apr 24, 2017 | 8:49pm IST


Reuters

German private equity firm Deutsche Invest Equity Partners was the highest bidder for a majority stake in Greece's Thessalonki Port with 231.9 million euros, the country's privatisation agency HRADF said on Monday.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Greece to draw up boundaries for huge Athens riviera resort

BUSINESS NEWS | Thu Mar 23, 2017 | 11:01am EDT


Reuters

Greece will soon define the boundaries of a site where investors plan to spend 7.9 billion euros ($8.5 billion) to build one of Europe's biggest coastal resorts, the culture ministry said, in a sign the delayed project may eventually go ahead.

A consortium of Abu Dhabi and Chinese investors (0656.HK), led by Greece's Lamda (LMDr.AT), signed a deal in 2014 for the 99-year lease of a sprawling area at the former Athens airport in Hellenikon and the development of a coastal town.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Greece sells state-owned railway operator to Italian firm


By Associated Press January 18 at 6:42 AM

The Washinghton Post

ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s privatization agency has signed a deal to sell the country’s state-owned Trainose railway operator to Italian state’s Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane for 45 million euros ($48 million).

The agency says the sale of its 100 percent stake to the Italian railway company is subject to approval by European Union authorities.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Greece wants to sell smaller stake in gas grid operator - paper

Wed Jan 11, 2017 | 2:47am EST

Jan 11 Greece wants to keep a majority stake in its gas grid operator DESFA and sell only a small holding to investors after a previous plan to sell a 66 percent stake collapsed, a Greek newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Under its privatisation programme, a key part of its international bailout, Greece and its biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum had agreed to sell the DESFA stake to Azerbaijan's SOCAR for 400 million euros ($422 million).

Monday, October 3, 2016

What’s Derailing Greece’s Plan to Sell State Assets? Its Own Government


The ruling Syriza party must privatize chunks of the country’s infrastructure to meet bailout terms. Many of its ministers are standing in the way

The Wall Street Journal

By NEKTARIA STAMOULI
Updated Oct. 3, 2016 12:09 a.m. ET

ATHENS—The day that Christos Spirtzis became responsible for much of Greece’s ambitious privatization program, he vowed to ensure it failed.

Greece’s leftist infrastructure minister has resisted every sale of roads, airports and trains, even though he and his government have promised to raise €50 billion from privatizations as part of the country’s international bailout.

“I hope the deal will not bear fruit,” the combative, chain-smoking former labor unionist said after his government, under pressure from Greece’s creditors, confirmed the sale of 14 regional airports to a German investor. He backed calls for local referendums to scuttle the deal. When he finally had to sign the contract, he did so “with a great deal of pain,” he told Greek radio listeners in a trembling voice.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Greece passes new reforms for fresh batch of bailout aid

Tue Sep 27, 2016 | 3:02pm EDT

Reuters

Greek lawmakers on Tuesday passed reforms sought by the country's creditors to cut pension spending and expedite privatisations in exchange for financial aid under the country's latest international bailout.

Signalling the conclusion of a first review of bailout terms, parliament voted by a majority to reform the country's electricity market and transfer state assets into an umbrella sovereign wealth fund.

The reforms were passed by a majority vote in the 300-seat parliament by members of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' leftist-led government. Passage of the reforms may unlock 2.8 billion euros of loans when deputy euro zone finance ministers meet this week.

Fatigued Investors Want Draghi to Buy Greece Before They Do


 Nikos Chrysoloras

September 28, 2016 — 4:03 AM EEST Updated on September 28, 2016 — 10:05 AM EEST

Bloomberg

Michel Danechi isn’t buying the Greek turnaround story just yet.
As Greek business leaders and government officials presented to investors last week in London a list of reasons why valuations of the country’s assets make them attractive, Danechi’s Duet Asset Management took note. But what he wants to see is for Greece to show it can make good on pledges made to euro-area creditors so it can be included in the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s quantitative easing program.

Greece approves plan to transfer state utilities to new asset fund


State assets, including water and electricity utilities, are to be transferred to a new asset fund created by international creditors. The plans have sparked demonstrations and public sector strikes across the country.

Deutsche Welle
28-9-2016

Greece's parliament passed new reforms on Tuesday night to cut pension expenditure and transfer control of public utilities to a new asset fund.
 The reforms seek to unlock 2.8 billion euros ($3.14 billion) in financial loans as part of the country's latest bailout program.
The reforms were passed by a narrow 152-141 majority vote in Greece's 300-seat parliament, after 152 parliamentary members of the ruling Syriza-Independent Greeks coalition approved the reform bill. Only one member of the coalition voted against the bill, along with all opposition members.
The reforms will see public assets transferred to a new asset fund created by Greece's creditors. Assets include airports and motorways, as well as water and electricity utilities. The holding company groups together these state entities with the country's privatization agency, the bank stability fund and state real estate. It will be led by an official chosen by Greece's creditors, although Greece's Finance Ministry will retain overall control.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Greece, lenders agree supervisors for new privatisation fund

Mon Sep 26, 2016 | 8:28am EDT

Reuters

Greece and its lenders have agreed on a five-member supervisory board for a new privatisation fund following wrangling over its composition, government sources said on Monday, meeting a key condition under the country's 86 billion euro bailout.

Athens had to agree on nominations with its EU/IMF lenders by the end of September to conclude a first progress assessment and qualify for a further 2.8 billion euros in bailout loans.

Friday, September 23, 2016

COSCO sees Greece's Piraeus among world's top 30 ports by 2018

Thu Sep 22, 2016 | 2:10pm EDT

Reuters

By Angeliki Koutantou | ATHENS
China's biggest shipping company, COSCO Shipping, plans to ramp up container volume at Greece's biggest port in Piraeus by 35 percent by 2018, the port's new managing director, Fu Cheng Qiu, told Reuters on Thursday.

COSCO Shipping, which owns the world's fourth-largest container shipping fleet, bought 51 percent of the port's operating company last month for 280.5 million euros ($315.5 million), one of Greece's biggest and most strategic privatizations since a debt crisis began in 2009.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Greece Secures Bailout Money With Airport Real Estate Deal

By NIKI KITSANTONIS
JUNE 7, 2016


The New York Times

ATHENS — Greece on Tuesday signed a major privatization deal that will fulfill a key condition for the release of further bailout funding, but it will also displace thousands of refugees.

The deal, for a huge luxury real estate project on the site of the capital’s former international airport, was made in a memorandum of understanding between the state privatization agency, Taiped, and a consortium of Greek, Arab and Chinese companies. The land sits on a prime piece of coastline in Elliniko in southern Athens.

Elliniko is part of an ambitious privatization program by Greece’s leftist-led government and the country’s international creditors. Apart from Greece’s power board and other state companies, the portfolio of Greek assets for sale includes former government buildings, beaches and hotels.

The deal, which was frozen for a year and a half because of protests, was hailed as a breakthrough. Taiped’s chairman, Stergios Pitsiorlas, said the site, which covers four square kilometers, or 1.5 square miles, would accommodate “the largest urban regeneration project in Europe,” and create thousands of jobs for the debt-ridden nation. The site will also have the largest metropolitan park in Europe, he said. The office of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the investment would help “restart the economy.”

Currently, however, the site is home to some 3,000 refugees who live in a makeshift settlement in the former airport building. The structure also houses several small companies, chiefly shipping and advertising firms. It had served as sports venues for the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

The government has promised to clear the site and relocate the refugees to a yet-to-be-determined location by November.

The deal was one of the few loose ends needed for creditors to sign off on 7.5 billion euros, about $8.5 billion, in bailout money after the approval of fresh austerity measures in recent weeks.

Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on Monday, Pierre Moscovici, the European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, said Greek authorities had done “95 percent of the changes necessary” to unlock the money.

First signed by the previous conservative-led coalition in November 2014, the privatization deal was held up after protests by local residents and authorities.

It was clinched after locals “came around to the idea,” Mr. Pitsiorlas said in an interview. The developers also agreed to demands by the Greek state for the site to include more green spaces, and to pay maintenance costs. The site will also have malls, golf courses and luxury homes.

The consortium of Lamda Development, the Abu Dhabi-based real estate firm Al Maabar and the Chinese conglomerate Fosun International has pledged 915 million euros, about $1 billion, to lease the plot for 99 years. Another 7 billion euros, about $7.9 billion, will go toward the creation of parks, luxury homes, golf courses and the extension of the public transportation and drainage network over 15 years. According to Mr. Pitsiorlas, the project would create more than 40,000 jobs.


The “new living standard” envisioned for Elliniko in a video on Lamda Development’s website is a far cry from the current state of the site, described as a “mass ghetto” by a local mayor, Yiannis Konstantatos.

Despite pressure from creditors to sell off state assets, a succession of governments have raised just over 2.5 billion euros from privatizations, including the leasing out of Greek regional airports and the Greek horse race betting organization, compared to an initial target of 50 billion euros.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Fed and Greece Could Defy the 2016 Bears

18 DEC 22, 2015 2:00 AM EST
By Mark Gilbert
Bloomberg

One of the pitfalls of market-watching, whether for professional strategists or journalistic scribblers, is a tendency to accentuate the negative. (I'm ignoring sell-side equity analysts, whose preordained bullishness is largely indifferent to the economic backdrop.) Gloom, doom and misfortune are more interesting than cheerful optimism. And I'm as guilty as the next financial soothsayer.

But it's often a good idea to try to take an opposing view, no matter how compelling the evidence for pessimism is (here's an excellent roundup of worries from Dave Collum, who combines a passion for markets with his day job as professor of organic chemistry at Cornell University). So here are my two outside bets on what could go right on the biggest financial issues that we're carrying into 2016:

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

14 Airports in Greece to Be Privatized in $1.3 Billion Deal

By NIKI KITSANTONIS
DEC. 14, 2015

The New York Times

ATHENS — Greece’s leftist-led government on Monday signed its first major privatization deal, granting a German company the right to lease and manage more than a dozen regional airports.

The contract, worth 1.2 billion euros, or $1.3 billion, is part of an effort to privatize state assets and adopt economic changes demanded by international creditors under Greece’s €86 billion bailout program. Some other measures are under debate in the Greek Parliament and are scheduled for a vote Tuesday night.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Greece signs major privatisation deal with Germany's Fraport

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:15am GMT Related: BUSINESS
ATHENS/BERLIN

Reuters

Greece's leftist government on Monday signed its first big privatisation deal with German airport operator Fraport (FRAG.DE), awarding it a 1.2 billion euro (£868 million)contract to lease and manage 14 regional airports.

Privatisations have been a key condition of Greece's international bailouts since 2010. But Athens has raised only about 3.5 billion euros from state asset sales so far versus an original target of 50 billion euros due to bureaucratic delays and lack of political will.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Piraeus Port Becomes Hub in Greek Logistics-Industry Push

By Jonathan Stearns  Feb 25, 2014 2:01 AM GMT+0200
Bloomberg
The Greek port of Piraeus could become one of Europe’s top five container-shipping hubs as the government spurs logistics activities in a bid to kick-start economic growth, said Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis.

Piraeus, now the 11th-largest container-shipping port in the European Union, is expanding as China-based Cosco Pacific Ltd. (1199) operates one of two piers, builds a third and prepares to offer cargo-train shipping to multinational companies including Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) and Huawei Technologies Co.