Foreign investors return to Greece

first_imgThere has been a revival in the interest of major long-term investment funds in Greek privatisations, which will now gain fresh momentum through the promotion of sell-offs via the stock market, according to Yiannis Emiris, managing director of state privatisation fund TAIPED.Yiannis Emiris told Reuters this week that the drawing of some 11 billion euros of cash from the international markets by the state as well as a number of enterprises has rekindled and boosted investor interest.Emiris cited investors such as Canada’s PSP, which are interested in sell-off projects including the Thessaloniki Water Company (EYATH) and Athens International Airport.The TAIPED chief also said that his fund will utilise the Athens stock exchange in order to generate revenue from assets sales. This revenue will be used for the promotion of privatisations, he stated, and stressed that this option would be used carefully and would be taken up only on very few occasions. Asset sales have lagged behind original targets set in the country’s European Union/International Monetary Fund 237 billion euro bailout after the financial crisis.However, the sale of Piraeus Port (OLPr.AT), Greece’s biggest, has attracted six suitors recently, including China’s Cosco [COSCO.UL] and Ports America Hldg Inc., the largest port operator in the United States.This was the first time in Greece’s four-year bailout that a sale has attracted the interest of leading companies from across the world. Since its 2010 bailout, Greece has signed privatisation deals worth 4.9 billion euros. It raised upfront about 2.7 billion euros in cash, with more than half of that amount coming from gambling sales and licenses.The money raised so far is less than an initial target for 22 billion euros in 2010-2013 set by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The biggest sales have been the sale of gambling firm OPAP (OPAr.AT) and a landmark, 915-million-euro property lease at the site of the former Athens airport. Source: Reuters Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more