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Business Briefs

Government to sell Transpetrol stake as a whole
Harsco to create more than 100 jobs in Košice
IMF critical of poor banking sector governance

Government to sell Transpetrol stake as a whole

The government May 16 went with a recommendation from Deloitte & Touche, the government's advisors on the privatisation of pipeline operator Transpetrol, that the state sell a 49% share in the firm directly to a strategic investor rather than floating some of the stake on capital markets.
Privatisation Minister Mária Machová said after the decision that she expects the stake to be sold by the end of this year.
The move comes only a week after the advisors on the sale of state gas utility Slovenský plynárenský priemysel (SPP), Credit-Suisse First Boston, suggested the government take the same course of action for a minority share in the utility.
Traders on the Slovak stock exchange had been hoping shares in both companies would be issued on the domestic market to boost the lacklustre Bratislava bourse.

Harsco to create more than 100 jobs in Košice

Taylor-Wharton, a division of the American Harsco Corporation, May 15 announced it will begin production on a site owned by the U.S. Steel Košice firm in June, employing over 100 people.
Harsco, one of U.S. Steel's long-time American partners, provides industrial services and goods for rail transport, iron production and energy.

IMF critical of poor banking sector governance

According to an evaluation report written by a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which visited Slovakia at the end of 2000, banking sector supervision at the National Bank of Slovakia is very weak, due largely to the lack of qualified supervisors and legal tools to force action from the banking sector.
In a 12 month period between 1999 and 2000, four small Slovak banks collapsed, while others ran into financial problems. Analysts said at the time that the central bank must take more preventative measures to stop banks failing.
The central bank rejected the criticism that it was idle in its sector governance, instead claiming it had scant powers to enforce banking discipline effectively.

Compiled by Ed Holt from SITA,TASR and press reports

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