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One of Europe’s last great port privatisation sagas appears finally to be reaching its end game after the Wall St Journal reported that three of the largest international port operators – Cosco Pacific, APM Terminals and International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) – are expected to lodge bids for a 67.7% stake in the Piraeus port authority. While it has been a terrible few years for the Greek economy, Piraeus can justly lay claim to being one of the most important transhipment hubs in the eastern Mediterranean, especially since Cosco took over operations of its second container terminal a couple of years ago. The Chinese operator is said to be in the lead to win the privatisation process, but it is by no means a done deal. “The truth is that Cosco already has a presence in Piraeus, but that doesn’t mean in any way that the deal is sealed.”

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