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COSCO acquires majority stake in Greek port

Reporter: Jiang Shaoyi 丨 CCTV.com

08-12-2016 05:10 BJT

To start the program with a major acquisition by China Cosco Shipping, who has become the majority stakeholder in Piraeus Port Authority at the Athens Stock Exchange. Officials and entrepreneurs from both Greece and China welcomed the acquisition. 

Ringing in a new era at Greece's largest port, another milestone for China-Greece collaboration.

China's Cosco Shipping officially became the controlling shareholder of Piraeus port on Wednesday.

The Chinese company signed a memorandum of understanding at the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, formally completing the acquisition of the 67 percent stake, for about 370 million euro.

This is the first cross-border acquisition by China's largest shipping company.

And the sale gives it rights to run the port until 2052.

"Following the Greek law and the agreement, Cosco Shipping will not only operate a state-of-the-art port that will boost trading links between Asia and Europe, it will also help create jobs and invigorate the Greek economy," said Wan Min, president of Cosco Shipping.

The group plans to develop Piraeus into the largest container port in Europe, as well as the most focused logistics distribution center in the Mediterranean region.

In the next five to seven years, Cosco Shipping will also invest another 300 million euro to expand the port's cruise facilities and upgrade its dockyard.

The project also represents a milestone for China's "Belt and Road Initiative", which will boost trade relationships along the route.

"The project can indeed become China's gateway into Europe. For both China and Greece, this is a win-win deal, so both sides will work hard to facilitate the project. We firmly believe that COSCO will build the port into the largest of its kind in the Mediterranean region," said Stergio Pitsiorlas, Chairman of Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund.

Experts say the deal could be a turning point for the Greek economy, which has been in a deep recession for nearly a decade.

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