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Piraeus Port Advances on Hewlett-Packard Deal: Athens Mover

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Piraeus Port Authority SA, the operator of Greece’s biggest harbor, gained the most in four years after computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co. said it plans to use the Greek port as its European hub.

Piraeus shares gained as much as 15 percent to 14.36 euros in Athens, its biggest intraday gain in four years. It was trading 11 percent higher at 13.90 euros by 12:35 p.m.

Hewlett-Packard plans to use the Piraeus pier run by Hong Kong-based Cosco Pacific Ltd. to move goods manufactured in Asia into Europe, the Athens-based Development Ministry said in a statement late yesterday.

The deal will probably boost local cargo business by 50 percent and create hundreds of new jobs, the ministry said. Piraeus Port, majority-owned by the Greek state, has been placed on a list of companies that could be sold to raise cash as the country struggles to reduce debt.

The deal with Hewlett-Packard, based in Palo Alto, California, “shows that when all the prerequisites are in place, investments will follow,” said Vassilis Kararizos, deputy head of equities at Proton Bank SA.

Cosco won a contract in 2009 to run container operations at Pier II, which started the following year, and to build Pier III. The two facilities will have total container handling capacity of 3.7 million 20-foot equivalent units when the third pier is operational, scheduled for 2015.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maria Petrakis in Athens at mpetrakis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Foxwell at sfoxwell@bloomberg.net

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