China's Cosco Group and four other suitors have been shortlisted as potential buyers of a majority stake in Piraeus Port Authority OLP, Greek privatisation agency HRADF said on Thursday.
Greece is aiming for privatisation revenues of 1.5 billion euros this year by selling a stake in OLP and in Thessaloniki Port Authority OLTH, as well as by privatising railway operator TRAINOSE, rolling stock company ROSCO and some regional airports, among other assets.
The other potential OLP investors shortlisted were: U.S. terminal operator Ports America; Dutch container terminal operator APM Terminals; Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services ; and close-ended investment company Utilico Emerging Markets Limited.
Despite a six-year austerity-induced recession, OLP's profits rose 12 percent last year and the port is seen benefiting from a robust tourist season this year when Greece expects a record 19 million tourists.
Binding offers for OLP are expected by the end of the year.
The agency also said that it received non-binding bids from Russian Railways (RZD) and another seven suitors for a majority stake in Thessaloniki Port Authority OLTH.
Russian Railways is bidding in a joint venture with Greek construction group GEK Terna.
The other potential investors are: APM Terminals; International Container Terminal Services; Deutsche Invest Equity Partners; Switzerland's Duferco Participation Holding; Japan's Mitsui & Co; British shipping company P&O Steam Navigation Company and Turkey's Yilport Holding.
HRADF also said it would examine whether the planned sale of a majority stake in utility Thessaloniki Water was in line with Greek law after a top Greek court blocked the planned privatisation of utility Athens Water last month.
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; editing by Jason Neely)