Business Briefs

Telecoms Office to start tender for FWA licences
OTP mulls smaller bank purchase in Slovakia
SES Tlmače to be subcontractor for Chinese plant
IFC and EBRD sign contract for 25% share in VÚB

Telecoms Office to start tender for FWA licences

The Ministry of Transport, Postal Services and Telecommunications asked the Telecommunications Office (TÚ) February 12 to start a tender for FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) 26 GHz licences.
The ministry will sell three nationwide FWA licences, while the sale will be run as a so-called 'beauty contest' (where the overall advantages conferred by bids is more important than price alone), in which the price per licence is set at 70 million crowns, said Anna Ghannamová, spokeswoman for the ministry. The TÚ will soon confirm the exact criteria of the tender.
Deputy Transport Minister Dušan Faktor said that under the terms set, current telecommunications operators in Slovakia will not be allowed to participate in the tender in order to create more competition on the Slovak market. Slovak Telecom and mobile operators Globtel and EuroTel have been informed they may not take part in the tender.
Bids should be evaluated by April, the ministry said.

OTP mulls smaller bank purchase in Slovakia

Hungarian OTP Bank Rt. is interested in the acquisition of a smaller or medium-sized commercial bank in Slovakia, but is not likely to enter the Slovak banking sector this year, OTP managing director Gyorgy Fenyo said February 12.
"We have mapped out the Slovak market very well, and we also have a concrete idea of a bank we would like to enter," said Fenyo. He refused, though, to specify the bank's name, saying only that OTP would like to acquire a majority stake in the bank's share capital.
According to information released by the Hungarian economic daily Napi Gazdasag, OTP is considering buying a Slovak bank in conjunction with the European Bank for the Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). "The EBRD's role is to support the privatisation process in central and eastern Europe, including banking privatisation, and provide respective capital. However, we have not yet made a definitive decision as to whether we will cooperate with the EBRD on this," said Fenyo.

SES Tlmače to be subcontractor for Chinese plant

After meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wu Yi, Deputy Prime Minister for Economy Ivan Mikloš said February 12 that the Chinese government had approved construction of a power station in Shen Tou, which includes a contract with thermal power firm Slovenské energetické strojárne (SES) Tlmače. As a subcontractor, SES will secure the supply of almost four billion crowns worth of goods and services within the project.

IFC and EBRD sign contract for 25% share in VÚB

Representatives of the Slovak Finance Ministry, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the European Bank for the Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), February 9 signed an agreement on entry into Všeobecná úverová banka (VÚB), each institution paying 2.04 billion crowns ($43 million) for a total 25% share in Slovakia's second largest bank.
VÚB also is expected to gain a 20 million euro credit line from the EU and the EBRD for support of small- and medium-sized businesses. "The EBRD's investment and proposed credit line will support VÚB's restructuring, oriented towards its full privatisation," said Kurt Geiger, head of the EBRD.

Compiled by Ed Holt from SITA and TASR

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