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Greece Expects Port Sale Recommendations in About a Month

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Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Greece expects to receive advice in about a month on how to proceed with the sale of its stakes in the country’s two largest ports and 800 smaller harbors and marinas, according to Andreas Taprantzis, Executive Director of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, known as HRADF.

“We are expecting a decision from our advisers in about four to five weeks’ time,” Taprantzis said in an interview in Athens on Jan. 25. “We are not sure yet as to how we will package the sale, but if you sell Piraeus Port and Thessaloniki Port individually then this may make it harder to sell the other ports.”

In addition to selling its 74 percent stakes this year in the operators of the country’s two largest ports, Greece will sell its 100 percent stakes in the smaller harbors of Volos, Rafina, Igoumenitsa, Patras, Alexandroupoli, Iraklio, Elefsina, Lavrio, Corfu and Kavala.

One option would be to sell regional groups of ports; Piraeus Port, near Athens, would lead a group that includes Rafina, Elefsina and Lavrio that are all located in the metropolitan area of the Greek capital, he said.

Morgan Stanley and Piraeus Bank SA are advising on the privatization of the 12 Greek ports, part of a plan to raise 65 billion euros ($85.5 billion) from state-asset sales and real estate redevelopment. Greece is also selling around 800 small ports and marinas throughout the country, Taprantzis said.

The fund, set up oversee privatizations, will start the sale process for Greek natural gas supplier Depa SA and gas grid operator Desfa by the end of this month, he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Paul Tugwell in Athens at ptugwell1@bloomberg.net; Sharon Smyth in Madrid at ssmyth2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net; Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net