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ICTSI to bid for Greek port

International Container Terminal Services Inc. has expressed interest in a majority stake in Piraeus port in Greece.

“Yes. We are now reviewing this opportunity,” ICTSI vice president and treasurer Rafael Consing Jr. said in a text message.

The Greek government is selling a 51-percent stake in the Piraeus port, the largest port in Greece, lower than the 67 percent stake it earlier offered.

The cash-strapped Greek government has been raising funds through the sale of public assets to pay creditors from Europe and the International Monetary Fund.

Chinese conglomerate COSCO and the Dutch company APM Terminals have also expressed interest on the privatization of Piraeus port and have until September to submit their offer.

Available data from its Web site showed that Port of Piraeus handled 644,055 twenty-foot equivalent units of containers in 2013, up 2.9 percent from 625,914 TEU in 2012.

Passenger traffic at the Piraeus port stood at 17,669772 in 2013, down 1.75 percent from 17,983,635.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s government, in power for the last three months, had been largely opposed to the previous regime’s plans to raise funds for the cash-strapped state through the sale of public assets, and had vowed to halt such privatisations.

But it has come under intense pressure from cash-strapped Greece’s international creditors to move forward with such sales.

In late April, the government carried out its first privatisation since coming to power came with the selling of a 20-year horseracing gambling licence to a subsidiary of Czech-Greek company Opap for 40.5 million euros ($44 million).

Government spokesperson Gabriel Sakellaridis said Thursday that the question of privatisation was  part of the “package” of measures being discussed with the EU and the IMF to free a slice of loans worth 7.2 billion euros. With AFP

ICTSI, which operates the main international port in Manila, has been expanding its operations globally.

ICTSI chairman and president Enrique Razon Jr. said his company participated in an acution for a port in Cameroon in Africa and would bid for another one in Mombasa, Kenya.

ICTSI has port operations in Madagascar, Nigeria and Congo in Central Africa. The Philippine port operator has programmed $530 million in capital expenditure this year to develop new container terminals in Mexico and Iraq and expand the capacity of the terminal operation in Manila.

ICTSI also plans to spend for the development of new terminals in Democratic Republic of Congo and Australia.

The port operator reported a net income of $54 million in the first quarter of 2015, up 3 percent from $52.4 million a year ago.

ICTSI booked a $13.2-million one-time gain in January 2014 from the sale of non-core asset when it divested its holdings in Cebu International Container Terminal Inc.

The port operator handled consolidated volume of 1,982,773 twenty-foot equivalent units in the January-to-March period, or 13 percent more than 1,757,095 TEUs it handled in the same period in 2014. With AFP

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