Two weeks before the new deadline for expressions of interest in the 100 percent stake in rail services operator Trainose, it is still impossible to say with any certainty how the privatization project will conclude. Greek newspaper Kathimerini understands that its success will depend on a possible Chinese bid.
Beijing has not yet decided whether Cosco, or another firm or consortium, will submit an expression of interest. Well-informed sources note that the case of Trainose will be examined by the Chinese authorities in the next few days, but a decision is not expected before the March 21 deadline.
The decision will also be based on the course of other investment moves by Beijing in Greece, especially regarding the acquisition of the majority stake in Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) and the prospect of gaining control of the Thriasio Freight Center in western Attica. Another factor will be Beijing’s bilateral relations with Athens, that could upgrade the decision on whether to enter the Trainose tender to a political choice, as diplomatic sources explain to Kathimerini.
The main incentive for Chinese involvement in the tender is the decision that Cosco’s local subsidiary has signed with Trainose for the transport of its clients’ cargo, such as that of Hewlett-Packard, to Central Europe.
Source: EKathimerini.com // By Ilias Bellos