A unit of Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa - Grosbeak - has been chosen by the Indonesian Government as the preferred bidder in the privatisation of the country's state-owned ports industry. The move forms the latest part of the company's drive to diversify its port operations. It has purchased terminals in India and South America so far this year and starting negotiations for a 680 million guilder (about HK$2.69 billion) deal to take over Rotterdam's European Combined Terminals, which is one of the busiest ports in the world. The Indonesian Ministry of State Enterprises yesterday said Grosbeak had been named the preferred partner in a venture with state-owned port company Pelindo II. It had been chosen by the privatisation evaluation committee. The Indonesian Government decision means that Hutchison Whampoa will now form a joint-venture with Pelindo, to be called Jakarta International Container Terminal. The venture will operate and manage two container terminals in north Jakarta for 20 years. The government expects to complete negotiations with Hutchison Whampoa by the end of this month, said Sofyan Djalil, an official in the ministry. He said Hutchison was selected because it was the world's largest container-port operator, with a 10 per cent slice of global container traffic. However, Mr Djalil said the government had yet to decide how big a stake in the venture it would sell to the foreign partner. If it sold more than 50 per cent, the government would retain a 'golden share' that would give it the decisive vote in any dispute with the partner, he said. In May, Pelindo was one of 12 state companies in which the Indonesian Government said it would sell stakes to meet requirements under the US$43 billion bailout plan put together by the International Monetary Fund. The government said the Hutchison unit was selected from a field of four final bidders. They also included International Container Terminal Services, P&O Ports, and Stevedoring Services of America International/Samudera Indonesia.