Saudis Keen on Greek Assets

ATHENS – Hoping to rebound from a crushing economic crisis by luring more investors, Greece got some major interest when members of a visiting Saudi Arabia parliamentary committee said businesses in their country are looking at Greek enterprises.

Greece is trying to sell off assets as part of privatization demands from international lenders but is woefully behind schedule, so far bringing in only 2.6 billion euros of a 50 billion euro target.

Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis met with the Saudis, along with Costas Mathioudakis, the General Secretary for energy, and Saudi Ambassador in Athens Rayed Khalid A. Krimly.

The Saudi envoy and his colleagues reportedly expressed particular interest in the privatization of companies in the Greek energy sector, in issues of energy sufficiency and in renewable energy sources.

Imports of Saudi petrochemicals to Greece doubled in 2012 from 2011, amounting to over 2.5 billion euros, while the Greek merchant fleet plays a key role in Saudi Arabia’s external trade.