Greecehas held talks with Qatar over the sale of the Astir Palace in a deal that would mark the first outright sale of a property in the country through the government’s 50 billion-euro ($67 billion) asset disposal program, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.
Representatives of Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co., part of the Persian Gulf country’s sovereign-wealth fund, discussed the sale with Greek officials and the resort’s owners when Prime Minister Antonis Samaras visited Doha last month, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Astir Palace Hotel SA (ASTIR), the public company that owns the resort, has a market value of 285 million euros.
Greece is striving to attract foreign investment as the economy faces its sixth straight year of contraction and an unemployment rate that reached 27 percent in November. In 1993 and 2009 Astir Palace in Athens hosted the Bilderbergconference, an invitation-only annual gathering of European and American business and political leaders named after the hotel in Holland where the first meeting took place in 1954.
The National Bank of Greece and the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, which own the property, put out an international public tender on Jan. 16. The 120,000 square-meter (1.3 million square-foot) complex includes three hotels, private beaches and 58 bungalows on the Vouliagmeni peninsula 25 kilometers (16 miles) from Venizelos International Airport.
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