World Bulletin / News Desk
Greece wants binding bids for its state-owned natural gas company andgas grid operator by the end of September and hopes to complete their sale in late autumn as it revives its privatisation drive, a government official told Reuters on Monday.
Hoping to regain credibility with international lenders keeping Greece afloat, the new conservative-led government has made speeding up privatisations a priority but has admitted delays from repeat elections in May and June.
After a meeting between political leaders and the finance minister on privatisations, the official said the government's priorities also included the sale of betting firm OPAP , the old Athens airport and buildings in Athens and on the islands of Corfu and Rhodes.
"What we're aiming for through the privatisations, apart from generating revenues, is to change the role of the state in the economy," the official said on condition of anonymity.
He said Russian, Italian, U.S. and French companies had expressed an interest in the natural gascompany DEPA and gas grid operator DESPA.
Athens initially targeted privatisation proceeds of 50 billion euros ($62 billion) by 2015 but cut the targetto 19 billion euros after a making slow start on the programme.
Former privatisations chief Costas Mitropoulos, who stepped down last month after accusing the government of hindering his efforts to sell assets, estimated that Athens would not raise more than 300 million euros from privatisations in 2012.
It had targetted 3 billion euros for this year.
More than 90 percent of the privatisation programme includes the lease and sale of concessions of state land and infrastructure, the government has said.
Russia has banned the import of EU food products including fruit and vegetables from Poland, whose total food exports to Russia were worth around $1.5 bln last year.
Ukraine is prepared to compromise on the price until a lawsuit it has filed against Gazprom is resolved, minister Yuri Prodan said.
Finnish electricity specialist Hiekkala: 'Finland and Baltic countries have possibilities to replace the import from Russia by own capacity or Nordic import.'
The Bahraini-based Dar Group (Al-Shair and Partners) and its Egyptian subsidiary, Dar al-Handasah, were awarded the contract worth some $1.8 billion to draw up the master plan for Egypt's Suez Canal development project.
Citizens unable to pay their credit card bills can apply to Finance Ministry to have their debts expunged.
Greek Cypriot Farmers’ Union EKA general secretary Panicos Hambas said that the Russian sanctions on the Greek Cypriot export of citrus fruits could lead Turkish Cypriot farmers to export their own fruits to Russia via Turkey.
The closing off of a major export market threatens to hurt segments of the euro zone economy at a time when growth is pretty poor anyway.
Soaring Chinese demand for commodities like coal has underwritten Mongolia's rapid growth, with more than 90 percent of its exports sold to China.
Thailand avoided recession in the second quarter, the state planning agency said on Monday, but questions remain about the pace and depth of growth.
The new ban would not apply to foreign automakers' production inside Russia. Ford, Volkswagen , Ford Renault, Toyota and Hyundai Motor Co all have production facilities inside Russia.
Across Asia's low-cost garment manufacturing industry in particular, there have been more strikes as unions use a shortage of skilled workers to press for better pay and improved safety
More than eight out of ten French citizens do not trust the government of Prime Minister Valls to improve economic situation, poll shows
Argentina defaulted for the second time in 12 years on July 31 after losing a lengthy legal battle with hedge funds demanding full payment on debt
The pipeline is expected to function on an interruptible basis from September and on a firm basis from March 2015.
Ethiopian gold exports rose to 12.35 tons during the reported period compared to 12.32 in the previous year.
Argentina's enthusiasm for trade with Russia will improve Moscow's chances of filling any gaps left by its ban on European Union supplies and reduce the odds of food shortages.