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Deal with creditors over looming privatization of Greek natgas utility

An agreement over a "formula" to finally privatize the Public Gas Corp. (DE.PA) was achieved this week between the Greek side and institutional creditors, with relevant procedures expected to begin in September and set to conclude in the first quarter of 2019.

Privatizing Greece's state-owned natural gas supply utility - 50+1 percent of share capital and its management - is a standing memorandum obligation for Athens.

Relevant Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis announced the development during a television appearance on Tuesday, while adding that DE.PA will be split up, one part retaining the infrastructure - which will remain in state control - and another for the utility's commercial activities. The state will retain a 15-percent stake in the latter.

DE.PA's stakes in regional natgas distribution companies - in the greater Athens and Thessaloniki areas - as well as other entities in the rest of Greece, will be transferred to the new infrastructure appendage. Also, DE.PA share in international projects, such as the IGB and EastMed, will be transferred.