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Greece-Cosco Sign Piraeus Port Deal

cosco_piraeus_taipedChina’s Cosco Group on Friday signed a 368.5-million-euro agreement with Greek privatization fund TAIPED for a majority stake — 67 percent — in Piraeus Port Authority (OLP).

The signing took place at the Maximos Mansion, in the presence of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, between the president of China Cosco Shipping Corporation limited, Xu Lirong, and TAIPED’s chairman, Stergios Pitsiorlas.

The agreement will now be ratified by parliament and the transfer of OLP’s shares to Cosco is expected to be completed in June.

According to TAIPED, the total value of the agreement is expected to amount to 1.5 billion euros by 2052 when the concession agreement expires.

The total amount includes Cosco’s offer of 368.5 million euros for the acquisition of the 67 percent share capital of OLP, mandatory investments of 350 million euros over the next decade and expected revenues from the agreement for the Greek state, amounting to 410 million euros.

“Greece will have many benefits from China’s growing influence and power in the global market,” Xu told Greek daily Kathimerini.

According to Cosco’s president, his company’s objective is to transform Piraeus into the Mediterranean’s most competitive port.

According to the Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research (IOBE), OLP’s privatization may generate in the medium term up to 4 billion euros per annum to the Greek economy.

The listed Chinese shipping giant has managed the port’s two central container terminals since 2008, when it inked a 35-year deal with the Greek government. The port has since seen an eightfold increase in commercial traffic with companies like ZTE and Hewlett-Packard using the cargo terminals as logistics hubs for their merchandise.

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