Greece to set up its first sovereign wealth fund, reform posting, bus services

  • World
  • Tuesday, 18 Jun 2024

A man looks at the Acropolis and the cityscape in Athens, Greece, April 12, 2024. REUTERS/Louisa Gouliamaki

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece will set up its first sovereign wealth fund to sell state assets such as estate property, ports and public utilities that were not sold during its debt crisis, its finance minister said on Tuesday.

The fund, with initial capital of 300 million euros, will invest proceeds from thousands of state asset sales into green projects, infrastructure and new technology, Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said in a news conference, unveiling the plan.

"We hired BlackRock to propose the best corporate structure for the fund," he added.

Greece's privatisation agency HRADF and its bank bailout fund HFSF will be absorbed by the Hellenic Corporation of Assets and Participations (HCAP), which manages a portfolio of state utilities and participations.

The funds jointly raised more than 10 billion euros from the sale of state assets and bank stakes to help Greece cut its debt during its 2010-2018 crisis, Hatzidakis said.

HFSF, which recently fully privatised three Greek lenders, plans to sell its remaining 18% stake in National Bank and a 72.5% in Attica Bank by the end of the year, Hatzidakis said.

Greece will also look to modernise its bus and postal services by allowing their state operators hire workers from the private sector and offer them pay flexibility.

(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by David Gregorio)

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