Question: What’s the link between a national airline, a global-brand ski factory and an organic flour producer?
Answer: none at all, except in Slovenia, where any half-aware citizen would immediately recognise them as state-owned companies being prepared for privatisation to raise the cash to bail out Slovenia’s heavily indebted banks and balance the national budget. Continue reading »
Kosovo’s government has hailed the sale of the territory’s most profitable enterprise as a breakthrough for investment. And as if to vindicate the optimists in Pristina, the sale of a 75 per cent stake in state telecom company PTK was followed days later by a landmark deal with Serbia that gives the Kosovan government control over the whole territory and opens the door to a deepening of relations with the EU.
But it remains to be seen whether the controversial sell-off will pave the way for lasting success. Continue reading »
Slowly but surely, Romania is limbering up for its next sell-off of state-owned companies. Under IMF duress, the country may be about to shed some of its weighty burden of strategically important but failing enterprises.
On Friday, Reuters reported that Romania was launching the sale of a majority stake in CFR Marfa, the country’s rail freight operator. The starting price was set at 797.1m leu ($234m). Continue reading »
By Jake Maxwell Watts and Nguyen Phuong Linh
Vietnam’s prime minister, Nguyen Tan Dung, is arguably a better Communist than he is a match-maker, judging by a recent spate of enforced bank mergers. The latest, between Western Bank and PetroVietnam Finance Corp, the finance arm of state-owned oil and gas giant PetroVietnam, was confirmed by the former and denied by the latter. Judging by an announcement on the central bank’s website, it looks likely to go ahead anyway. Continue reading »
By Luka Orešković of Provectus Capital
Last week, political change captured the global headlines. Pope Francis took over leadership of 1.2bn Catholics, matched by Xi Jinping, with his official ascendance to the presidency over 1.3bn in the People’s Republic of China. In between Beijing and the Vatican, and somewhat less noticed, the 2m people of Slovenia were also facing a change in government, with the center-right premier Janez Janša set to be replaced by Alenka Bratušek, the center-left head of Positive Slovenia.
With the European Commission forecasting an economic contraction of 2 per cent this year, and increasing talk of a bailout, the new government will face a challenging 12 months. Continue reading »
Turkey’s ambitious privatisation programme scored another significant success Friday with the successful sale of four more of the country’s regional power distribution companies for a total of $3.46bn.
The sale of the four was completed after more than six hours of open bidding between 16 companies. Continue reading »
By Justin Vela in Istanbul
Turkey is moving up in defence manufacturing with the commercial development of the ANKA, its first domestically-made drone (pictured).
It’s the product of an industry that’s largely state-owned but one that is expanding its $14bn-a-year revenues, and creating investment opportunities through privatisation. First for a likely stock market launch is ANKA’s maker, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), the second largest company in the sector. Continue reading »
Privatisations, today known by the euphemism of public private partnerships, started in Brazil in the 1990s to overcome inefficient public services. Known as the National Privatization Program (PND), the plan earned $40bn between 1990 and 2009.
But not all privatisations are the same. Some, in fact, require a lot of government backing – and footing the bill if the private sector gets its sums wrong. Continue reading »
Turkey begins this week with two important developments for investors, officials and ordinary citizens. One is that the country now no longer faces the prospect of being suspended or blacklisted from an international financial body. The other is that a showpiece privatisation has been halted by order of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (pictured). Continue reading »
It’s been billed Africa’s “best airline” for a good ten years running now but South Africa’s troubled SA Airways (SAA) has little to celebrate nowadays, with news that it could slash more flight routes to save money. Continue reading »
By Nicholas Watson of bne
The Albanian government has cancelled the winning bid from a consortium headed by a local businessman in the tender for state oil firm Albpetrol after it failed to come up with a down payment.
The decision ends what was rapidly becoming a national embarrassment for Albania, at a time when it is trying to convince the EU it is raising transparency standards. But, serious questions remain about the conduct of the winner of the tender, local tycoon Rezart Taci’s Vetro Energy, and of the government. Continue reading »
Poland doesn’t have many storied companies dating back to the country’s early industrialisation but one of the few is Hipolit Cegielski, a Poznan company focussed on building ship engines, which is now being sold by the treasury ministry. Continue reading »
As the Chinese proverb says, you must cross a river one stone at a time. And, according to WEF participant John Quelch, dean of the Chinese European Institute of Business Studies (CEIBS), the time for some Chinese state owned enterprises to cross the first stone towards privatization will come in 2013.
At the core of the privatization question lies the increasing cost of social security and health care in China, Quelch told beyondbrics in Davos. Continue reading »
Shares in PKO BP, Poland’s largest bank, have dropped sharply on news that the state is selling a chunk to help meet its privatisation target and to raise funds for a government-owned development bank. Continue reading »
The recent successful sales of three of Turkey’s 21 regional power distribution companies was good news for Turkey’s privatisation programme and its long stalled plans to liberalise its energy markets.
However news on Friday that the sale of a state coal fired power plant had attracted no less than 16 bidders promises to ensure that 2013 should be the year when Turkey finalises the move from a heavily state-controlled power market to a fully liberalised one. Continue reading »