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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 08:19, March 01, 2006
Greece seeks to get more revenues from privatization programs
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The Greek government is seeking to raise 1.65 billion euros (1.97 billion U.S. dollars) from a package of proposed privatization programs this year after surpassing its expectations in 2005, local media reported on Tuesday.

The wide-ranging privatization program was designed by the Inter-ministerial Privatization Commission, which includes Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and Labor Minister Savvas Tsitouridis.

The Commission's recommendation calls for examining the possibility of selling up to a 9.26-percent equity stake in Emporiki Bank (owned by the state) and selling stakes in the same bank owned by government agencies (totaling 12.5 percent).

The Greek state is also ready to sell another stake in ATEbank through a secondary offering to institutional investors, with the aim of boosting the share's liquidity. The exact number of shares to be offered and the time of the offering have not been settled yet, reports said.

Meanwhile, the Commission agreed to float the Post Savings Bank on the Athens Stock Exchange through a combined offering of shares owned by the Greek state to domestic and foreign investors.

Greece was hard pushed by the EU to cut its budget deficit from 6.4 percent in 2004, largely due to the overrun cost of 2004 Olympic Games, down below the EU stability level of 3.0 percent.

The state's proceeds from privatizations totaled 2.1 billion euros (2.5 billion dollars) last year, up from a target of 1.6 billion euros (1.9 billion dollars).

Source: Xinhua

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