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SE likely not to pay dividends until 2010

SLOVAKIA's dominant power producer Slovenské elektrárne (SE) probably will not pay out dividends from 2006 until 2010, according to material from the Economy Ministry that was based on negotiations with the National Property Fund (FNM) and the Italian firm Enel, SE's majority shareholder.

"The SE investment strategy plan is not accounting for dividends between 2006 and 2010 in order to secure sufficient funding for investments it needs to build new power generating capacities," the Economy Ministry stated.

Dividends will be paid only if real revenues exceed those projected in the company's new investment plan, which calls for €2 billion to be invested by 2010.

The investment will complete the third and fourth reactors of the Mochovce nuclear power plant, increase output of existing nuclear power stations, install the FK2 boiler in the Nováky thermal power station, build small hydropower plants and research ways to better utilise wind energy.

"This investment plan will rank SE among the most competitive energy producers in Eastern Europe," the Economy Ministry continued.

Enel became SE's majority shareholder in late April. The remaining 34 percent of shares are controlled by FNM, SITA wrote.

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