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.
Now the VNO-NCW is calling for the Dutch parliament to reverse a 2015 decision to introduce a cap of 20 percent of annual pay on the bonuses which can be paid out to top managers in the banking industry.
The state-owned energy trading firm Lietuvos Duju Tiekimas said it signed the deal with the Texas company Cheniere Energy.
Adding to the upward pressure for oil is the crisis in the Middle East, where a Saudi-led blockade of Qatar has fuelled concerns of possible conflict.
Bourses in both Paris and Frankfurt dipped after a report from data monitoring company IHS Markit showed Eurozone private sector business activity slowed sharply in June while staying in expansion mode.
Analysts said that while the downturn in the headline readings was disappointing, the economy continued to put in a strong performance.
Crude prices stabilised after diving more than two percent on Tuesday on increasing fears of a global supply glut, as continued production in the US and elsewhere offsets an OPEC output cut deal.
Move estimated to save company $1B in investment costs
However, most other regional markets struggled after Monday's healthy gains, despite being given a positive lead from Wall Street where the Dow and S&P 500 closed at fresh record highs.
The purchase in one fell swoop gives Amazon, which until now has operated almost entirely on the internet, a big presence in the brick-and-mortar world on Main Street, with more than 450 stores in the US, Canada and Britain.
"The Bank of Russia Board of Directors decided to cut the key rate to 9.00 percent per annum," the bank said in a statement. The cut follows a half-point decrease in late April.
Equity traders have suffered a fraught week as the crisis engulfing Donald Trump picks up pace, technology firms tumbled from recent highs and energy plays were hammered by plunging oil prices.
"In May 2017, passenger car registrations across the EU increased by 7.6 percent to 1.387 million units," ACEA said in a statement.
In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index climbed 0.4 percent to 12,746.05 points, and the Paris CAC 40 gained 0.5 percent to 5,243.53 compared with the close on Thursday.