Business Briefs

Bank Act moves to second reading in parliament
Deloitte & Touche to be Transpetrol sale advisor
Finance Ministry sends draft of SMP to the IMF
Cabinet confirms EBRD, IFC to take 25% stake in VÚB

Bank Act moves to second reading in parliament

MPs agreed January 30 to move to second reading a draft revision to the Bank Act, strengthening the bank supervision powers of the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS). The revision is also supposed to support mortgage transactions by giving the right of lien over non-completed buildings.
The draft also sets stricter requirements for statutory bodies, the supervisory board, the appointment of heads of internal controls departments, and banking audits within banks. Members of the supervisory board and of the statutory body will bear direct responsibility, and if they are found neglecting their duties, they can be fined up to one million crowns ($21,000). Tighter conditions will also be introduced for granting banking licences.

Deloitte & Touche to be Transpetrol sale advisor

Deloitte & Touche was picked as the privatisation advisor for crude-oil pipeline operator Transpetrol, Economy Ministry spokesman Peter Benčúrik said January 30, adding that it was selected from a final choice of three companies.
Privatisation Minister Mária Machová wants to see Transpetrol privatised by the end of October 2001, with the Economy Ministry planning to sell a 49% stake in the company to a strategic partner or to a consortium of investors, or to offer these shares on the stock exchange this year.
Transpetrol estimates its gross profit in 2000 at a minimum of 203 million crowns ($4.2 million). The preliminary business plan of the company for 2001 projects revenues of 2.225 billion crowns, costs of 1.928 billion crowns and gross profits of 297 million crowns.

Finance Ministry sends draft of SMP to the IMF

The Finance Ministry sent its draft for a Staff Monitored Programme (SMP) to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) January 29 in line with original agreements on the programme.
The government has been negotiating a loan with the World Bank for corporate and banking sector restructuring, and the acceptance of the SMP is a condition of the loan. The World Bank should provide the loan one to two months after the SMP agreement is approved by the IMF.
Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová said that she expects an IMF mission to arrive in Slovakia in the second half of February.

Cabinet confirms EBRD, IFC to take 25% stake in VÚB

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will definitely take a 25% stake in the second largest bank in Slovakia, Všeobecná úverová banka (VÚB), Juraj Renčko, head of the bank privatisaon unit at the Finance Ministry, said January 30.

Compiled by Ed Holt
from SITA and TASR

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