Greece has confirmed plans to sell majority stakes in its largest seaport, Piraeus.

As part of the country’s plan to privatise its port, three firms have been invited to submit binding bids by September, in order to acquire a 51% ownership of Piraeus.

A senior privatisation official was quoted as saying: "It will be for 51% with an option to reach 67% in five years if they invest €300m.

"We want to name the winner at the end of September or early October."

"We want to name the winner at the end of September or early October."

At a conference in Athens, Greece Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said that the government is engaged in advanced discussions with China’s Cosco.

Kammenos was quoted by Reuters as saying: "We are in very advanced talks to expand this cooperation very soon in relation with the inclusion of a railway network as well."

Other shortlisted firms include Dutch container terminal operator APM Terminals, and Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services. Cosco currently manages two container piers at Piraeus Port.

Earlier in 2014, Greece selected five companies to purchase a 67% stake in Piraeus Port; however, the plan was later suspended by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

The new government had planned to cancel significant terms of the country’s bailout programme.

According to a government official, the stake sale in the ports is deemed as concessions offered to reach an agreement with its lenders and to unlock bailout funds.