September 26, 2018 / 3:28 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 2-Greece to wrap up Athens airport concession in 2018, sell stake early 2019

* Tender for Athens airport (AIA) stake sale likely in Jan-Feb

* Extension for AIA concession seen completed this year

* Bids for Hellenic Petroleum stake expected by end of year (Adds details)

ATHENS, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Greece’s privatisation agency will proceed with a tender to sell a 30 percent stake in the Athens International Airport (AIA) early next year, its head said on Wednesday.

The privatisation agency holds a 30 percent stake in the airport, with the government owning another 25 percent. The rest is held by German-based airport manager AviAlliance and Greek group Copelouzos.

“The interest is still blurry since the process has not started yet, but it is evident,” Aris Xenofos told Greek Alpha 989 radio, adding that he expected the launch of tender by February.

The agency said earlier this month that it had accepted an improved 1.11 bln euro offer by private shareholders in AIA to extend their concession for operating the country’s largest airport by 20 years until 2046.

The process to sell a stake would begin after the extension of the concession was completed, Xenofos said. He added that he saw that happening by the end of the year.

Privatisations have been a pillar of Greece’s international bailout programmes. But the country, which emerged from its third rescue plan last month, has often missed its targets.

Xenofos projected that Greece would outperform its 2018 target for 2 billion euros in revenue from privatisations.

“This year, for the first time, we will exceed the 2 billion euro target from privatisations set in our mid-term plan,” he said.

He added that he expects the submission of binding bids for a stake in Greece’s biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum within the year.

“We hope to receive the bid within 2018,” Xenofos said. (Reporting by Renee Maltezou; Editing by Jon Boyle and Kirsten Donovan)

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