June 24, 2020 / 12:38 PM / 10 days ago

UPDATE 1-Hellenic expects double-digit drop in transport fuel demand at home this year

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ATHENS, June 24 (Reuters) - Greece’s biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum expects a double-digit drop in demand for transport fuel in Greece this year as the coronavirus restrictions have hurt travel, its chief executive officer said on Wednesday.

Greece expects tourist arrivals to fall sharply this year due to COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused from the new virus. This will consequently impact demand for gasoline, aircraft and ship fuel in the country, Andreas Shiamishis told a virtual news conference.

“A drop of 20-30% in demand for transport fuel in Greece would be a favourable scenario taking into account its heavy reliance on tourism,” he said.

Hellenic and the Greek government are jointly selling a 100% stake in state-controlled gas distribution network DEPA Infrastructure to help open up the gas sector, part of an agreement between the country and its lenders after it exited its latest bailout in 2018.

Greece has shortlisted six investors in the sale and Shiamishis said a preferred bidder could be named later in the year or in the first quarter of 2021. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou, editing by Louise Heavens)

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