By Andy Sambidge
State-owned Qatari Diar reportedly withdraws from competition to redevelop former Athens airport
Qatar's state-owned real estate firm has reportedly pulled out of the race to redevelop the former Athens airport, known as the Hellinikon International Airport.
According to the Greek Reporter, Qatari Diar, a subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority,has informed the administration of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) that it will not participate in the next phase of the process.
The remaining companies in the frame for the project are Elbit, Lamda Development and London & Regional Properties.
In February, it was reported that Qatar had rejoined the public tendering process to redevelop former Athens airport.
Qatar Investment Authority's development arm Qatari Diar initially pulled out of the tender in January prior to a visit to Doha by Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
Greek reports at the time had suggested that Qatar would discuss only a direct assignment of the contract.
Hellinikon airport is situated 8km south of capital Athens and the site is more than three times the size of Monaco. In 2011 the government wanted to sell the airport, hoping to raise around $6.6bn.
Qatar and Greece's economic relations registered an important development this year with the conclusion of several agreements including the establishment of a $2.6bn joint fund.
This has been going on for a very long time. I think it was a very wise decision made by the Qataris to pull out from this country. However, the Greek will chase the Qataris to stay in the race and will offer direct deal.