Privatization of Bulgarian Energy Companies Assists Foreign Debt Payments

Business » ENERGY | March 8, 2012, Thursday // 09:47| Views: | Comments: 1
Bulgaria: Privatization of Bulgarian Energy Companies Assists Foreign Debt Payments Traicho Traikov, Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, has said that the proceeds from the privatization of energy companies could go to financing foreign debt payments. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

There is an option to use the proceeds from the privatization of energy companies for financing foreign debt payments, according to Traicho Traikov, Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism.

Speaking after the award ceremony of the "Golden Martenitsa" awards by the Made in Bulgaria union on Wednesday evening, he said that the privatization of the minority stake in the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) would fetch at least BGN 1 B.

Traikov told journalists that the sale of minority stakes in power distributors managed by E.ON and CEZ would bring revenues of at least BGN 80-90 M.

The privatization of the 33% state-owned stakes in the two power distributors was expected to happen in 2011 but was postponed and still remains unclear when they will be floated on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE).

In end-December 2011, the sale of the minority stake in EVN brought BGN 93 M into the state coffers.

The sale of a small share of BEH on the stock market has been on the table since the summer of 2009, when center-right ruling party GERB came to power, news portal mediapool reminds.

The share that will be traded on the BSE has not yet been specified, but the figure varies between 10% and 25%, while the latest plans voiced by Finance Minister Simeon Djankov include floating a share of BEH on a foreign stock exchange.

While the sale of the state-owned stakes in the power distributors is expected to happen within a few months, the preparation of the initial public offering of a share of BEH will take more time, although it is not impossible to prepare the transaction by end-2012, mediapool notes.

Djankov has also commented on the option of boosting the fiscal reserve with the revenues from the sale of a share of BEH, which brings together the Kozloduy NPP, the National Electric Company (NEK), the Maritsa Iztok 2 TPP, the Maritsa Iztok Mines, Bulgargaz and Bulgartransgaz.

In his Wednesday statement, Traikov specified that the Finance Minister would determine the portion of revenues from the future deals with state assets that could go to foreign debt payments.

"The whole sum for the foreign debt payment in 2013 amounts to close to BGN 2 B and the privatization of a share of BEH and the other companies on the agenda may fetch at least BGN 1.3-1.4 B," Traikov added.

Under current legislation, revenues from privatization go to the Silver Fund and the accumulated sums remain inaccessible until 2017, when the money is expected to provide a serious boost to pensions, mediapool explains.

Finance Minister Djankov recently proposed changes to the governance of the Silver Fund that would enable a more active management of the collected funds and the investment of up to 70% of it in government securities.

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Tags: Traicho Traikov, Energy and Economy Minister, power distributor, EVN, E.ON, CEZ, Bulgargaz, Bulgartransgaz, BEH, Bulgarian Energy Holding, privatization, Simeon Djankov, Silver Fund
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» To the forumComments (1)
Sofianits - 13 Mar 2012 // 18:57:29

Mr. Traikov is an adept at the process of preying on the state, that was begun in 1989. Now there is hardly any more meat left on the bones of the proud and once wealthy People's Republic of Bulgaria. But, Traikov and his peculiar clan of jackal exploiters will be able to scavenge a few more pieces hanging on he bones of a once proud nation. See the book "Preying on the State" by Bulgarian sociologist Venelin I. Ganev to find out more about his. Think about it, Bulgarians. The people (that is, you) once owned the whole country. Who stole i?

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