China Everbright, HK’s Friedmann buy Albania’s airport operator - Business News | The Star Online


China Everbright, HK’s Friedmann buy Albania’s airport operator

SHANGHAI: China Everbright Group, a state-backed financial firm, has bought into Albania’s international airport in partnership with a Hong Kong-based investment firm, the latest deal highlighting China’s ambition to rebuild Silk Road trade links with Europe and Asia.

Beijing has estimated its much-hyped “One Belt, One Road” initiative will add US$2.5 trillion to China’s trade over 10 years and Chinese firms are increasingly lending their support with aggressive investment in overseas infrastructure projects.

China Everbright Ltd, a unit of the group, said it would acquire the airport’s developer and operator, Tirana International Airport, taking over the concession until 2025.

Passenger numbers at the airport jumped to 2 million in 2015, up from 600,000 ten years earlier, making it one of Europe’s fastest growing airports, it said in a statement.

The concession can also be extended by two years if the Albanian government approves.

It will complete the deal through a venture with Friedmann Pacific Asset Management Ltd, which specialises in aviation and airport-related projects.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. A spokesman for China Everbright Ltd said it owns 75% of the venture with Friedmann Pacific holding the rest. – Reuters