Minister Dinkić: 66 public companies for sale

BELGRADE -- The Serbian government did not reach consensus about the privatization of Telekom Srbija, but will offer 66 companies for sale.

(Beta)
(Beta)

It will also start bankruptcy proceedings in another 27, out of the 179 which are undergoing restructuring, Minister of Finance and Economy Mlađan Dinkić has said.

The ruling coalition did not come to an agreement about the privatization of Telekom, he noted.

The minister said that with the set of public sector reform measures agreed by the government, the status of the 179 companies, which employ a total of 54,000 people, should be resolved by June 30 next year.

"These companies have been in restructuring for 12 years, they cost us EUR 750 million a year and this has to end," said Dinkić.

Under the plan, 27 companies which have not attracted interest from buyers, but have significant property and few employees, will file for bankruptcy by the end of the year.

Another 66 companies will be up for sale by the year's end.

A separate group is made up of 16 companies which can cover current expenses but cannot repay old debts, such as the Bor mining and smelting complex.

The government is expected to provide debt relief and possibly redundancy packages.

Talking about major industrial systems in restructuring, such as vehicles maker FAP Korporacija Priboj, industrial machinery maker IMK 14. oktobar Kruševac, and hydraulics and pneumatics maker Grupa Prva Petoletka from Trstenik, Dinkić said some of them will be nationalized.

In this way, the government could invest in these industrial system together with partners.

"The measures for public companies include the government withdrawing from management of companies such as the Resavica coal mine, Jat Airways, the Galenika pharmaceutical company, and Belgrade airport which will be offered for a long term lease with investment commitments," said the minister.

A public invitation for the privatization of Resavica will be issued in September, while talks on a strategic partnership in Jat have started with Etihad Airways, said Dinkić.

Galenika cannot survive without a reorganization, he said.

Dinkić added the state should back out of leading insurance company Dunav Osiguranje, and possibly also from Čačanska Bank.