Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) CEO Costas Mitropoulos submitted his resignation to FinMin on July 19. In his resignation letter he stressed that “the newly elected government has not given the support needed. Instead, they have indirectly yet systematically reduced the prestige and credibility (of HRADF) in the eyes of potential investors. Furthermore, the government has not yet appointed new BoD Chairman to resume meetings and indeed accelerate the privatization program. Under these conditions, I can no longer work professionally and effectively in my role as CEO”. Furthermore, he stated that in an effort to maintain continuity and have time to brief the new CEO, his resignation will be effective as of August 10.
He also noted that 4 privatisations were completed in 2011 with total proceeds of €1.8bn (€1.56bn in cash), while 9 privatisation projections are currently at an advanced stage with estimated revenues of €2.5bn. Nevertheless, particularly due to delays over the past three months, following a BoD decision (on May 15) with a majority of political parties’ representatives to freeze any privatisation decision, state asset sale revenues are estimated at just €300m for 2012.
Another non-positive development for the new coalition government in my view, taking into account that Mr. Mitropoulos was a widely respected executive, while his appointment as HRADF CEO in July ’11 had the approval of the current ruling party. Nevertheless, it was clear that the government was annoyed by his recent statements, following a brief meeting he held with FinMin on July 11, that only two privatisations will be completed by the end of the year. Those statements were negatively perceived by the market and (government sources leaked that) gave wrong signals regarding the government’s intentions on the crucial issue of privatisations. Therefore, regardless of whether his estimates were realistic or not, it was apparent that his cooperation with the new government would not be fruitful and MoF would prefer a more “appropriate” executive to head HRADF and run privatisation projects.