China signed a US$5.53 billion deal in Athens to build a container at Greece’s Piraeus port, a significantly bigger deal than initial estimates of US$1 billion, the Financial Times reported. As part of the deal, state-owned container operator Cosco Pacific, a Hong Kong-listed subsidiary of Cosco Group, will invest US$787 million to upgrade existing facilities at Piraeus and build a new facility capable of handling larger ships, to be completed in 2014. China hopes the deal will boost trade with emerging markets along the Black Sea and give it control of an eastern Mediterranean transshipment hub. Cosco Pacific had earlier outbid Hong Kong-based Hutchison Ports in an international tender launched in January.
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