Ex-busi­ness lead­ers to run state hold­ing fund

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

Greece has picked two for­mer busi­ness lead­ers to run the fund it set up last year to speed up pri­va­ti­za­tions and make the best use of the coun­try’s as­sets to com­ply with its in­ter­na­tional bailout. Athens was meant to ap­point the board of di­rec­tors for the fund, which will over­see the coun­try’s pri­va­ti­za­tion agency (TAIPED) and its bank res­cue fund (HFSF), and have it fully op­er­a­tional by the end of last year. Greece and its lenders did agree a five-mem­ber su­per­vi­sory board for the pri­va­ti­za­tion and in­vest­ment fund in Oc­to­ber and this has now ap­pointed Gior­gos Dia­man­topou­los, for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive at Kraft Foods in Greece, as chair­man. Ra­nia Aika­teri­nari, an en­gi­neer and for­mer deputy CEO at Greece’s dom­i­nant power util­ity Pub­lic Power Cor­po­ra­tion, is tak­ing over as chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, the fund said. Pri­va­ti­za­tions, a key pil­lar of Greece’s bailouts, have raised lit­tle so far since the coun­try’s first in­ter­na­tional res­cue in 2010 due to po­lit­i­cal re­sis­tance, red tape and a strongly union­ized pub­lic sec­tor. Pro­ceeds will be used to re­duce the coun­try’s debt, which at 180 per­cent of GDP is the high­est in the euro­zone, and boost in­vest­ments. The board mem­bers will have a fouryear term, while its full com­po­si­tion will be an­nounced in the next few days.

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