China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co will bid for a majority stake in Greece's port of Piraeus after the country's new socialist government apparently reversed course on its opposition to port privatization.
COSCO was one of five industry players, including the United States
' largest port management company Ports America Inc, to show an interest in a 67 percent stake in Piraeus Port Authority
in the second half of 2014.
The Chinese company is an "active participant" in the bid for a majority stake in Piraeus and can make a "very competitive" offer, Greek Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis said.
The privatization of the Piraeus Port Authority (PPA), in which Chinese shipping conglomerate COSCO is one of five bidders, will be completed within weeks, said Dragasakis.
The planned sale of a 67% stake in the PPA, which operates Pier I at Piraeus, Greece's biggest port, had been suspended since the Syriza government of Alexis Tsipras took power.
The Syriza government of Alexis Tsipras took power in January on promises to end painful austerity, saying it would halt a string of privatizations including the sale of a 67 per cent stake in the PPA.
Dragasakis said the process had been "slightly delayed" mainly because there was "a change in the public entity owning the port's shares due to the change in government in Greece".
Meanwhile, COSCO credited Piraeus terminals for increasing profits in its financial result document. Although the final results of COSCO for 2014 are below expectations, the company reaffirms its intention to expand its international footholds, including further investments in Greece.