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Greek privatization revenues hinge on swift bailout review: official

Reuters

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's privatization revenue targets hinge on the swift conclusion of a crucial review of the country's bailout progress, a senior official at Greece's privatization fund said on Saturday.

Talks between Athens and its official creditors on labor and energy reforms and on fiscal issues have dragged on for months, hindering the conclusion of a key bailout review that would help Greece return to bond markets as early as this year.

Privatizations are a key term of its international bailout, the third since the debt crisis broke out. Greece must raise 5.3 billion euros from state asset sales by 2018, when its current bailout program ends.

"It's obvious that any delays in the review will also impact the fund's revenue collection. Therefore, we may see possible revenues being rolled over to the coming years," privatization agency adviser Lila Tsitsogiannopoulou told Ta Nea newspaper.

"Once the review is concluded, the whole sentiment for Greece will change," she said.

Under its privatization program, Greece has agreed to sell stakes in state controlled Public Power Corporation (PPC) <DEHr.AT>, in oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum <HEPr.AT>, and gas distributor DEPA.

Tsitsogiannopoulou said advisers for those privatization projects would be hired in February.

"We will proceed step by step, solving competition issues first," she said.

(By Lefteris Papadimas, editing by David Evans)

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