Business Briefs

FNM to sell 7% of Slovnaft on stock market
Budget deficit for first 10 months at 11.9 billion crowns
Over 10,000 flats completed in 10 months
Albania interested in more SE power exports
ŽSR wants 15% fare rise and discount changes

FNM to sell 7% of Slovnaft on stock market

At its session on November 20, the presidium of the FNM government privatisation agency approved the sale of 1,146,895 shares (a 6.96% stake) in the Slovnaft refinery on the stock market. The FNM announced last week that it would exchange another 3% in its portfolio on the stock market for FNM bonds.
The exchange is to be carried out in the form of a special auction, to be announced by the head of the RM-System (over-the-counter market). The first round will last until December 1, and only private individuals owning a single FNM bond will be able to acquire Slovnaft shares.


Budget deficit for first 10 months at 11.9 billion crowns

The state budget closed the first 10 months of the year with a deficit of 11.9 billion crowns ($238 million) with 8.49 billion ($168 million) accounted for by special expenditures for the restructuring of commercial banks. The state budget ended the first ten months of 1999 with a deficit of 12.3 billion crowns.
Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová said the deficit should rise further by the end of the year when current expenditures would also be widened to include expenditures for development projects financed from privatisation proceeds.


Over 10,000 flats completed in 10 months

In the first 10 months of this year, construction of over 10,100 apartments was completed, up almost 40% year-on-year. Most of the housing units were completed in the Bratislava region and the fewest in the Košice region, Katarína Remiašová from the press department of the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development said November 20.
Between January and October, construction of 8,283 apartments was started, down 10.6% year-on-year, while the total number of apartments under construction was 45,500, with the biggest number in the Bratislava region, Remiašová added.
Last year over 10,700 apartments were built, with government plans for 12,500 by the end of this year and 15,500 in 2001.


Albania interested in more SE power exports

Albania is interested in receiving electricity from Slovak power producer Slovenské elektrarne (SE) through the end of this year and maybe also in 2001, spokesperson for SE Alena Melicharková said November 11, adding that similar possibilities in the Balkans were also opening up.
Earlier this month, SE signed a contract with the Albanian energy corporation Kesh on supplies of electric power to Albania.
Between November 1 and 12, 2000, SE provided a test supply of electricity of 60 MW output.
Slovakia's net electricity exports for January to September 2000 have more than tripled compared with the same period of last year.
While in late September 1999 Slovakia exported 0.51 TWh of electricity abroad, the figure stood at 1.64 TWh in late September 2000.


ŽSR wants 15% fare rise and discount changes

Slovak Rail (ŽSR) has asked a regulatory authority to approve a passenger fares rise of 13% to 15% and a simultaneous change in the structure of fare discounts as of mid-February 2001, ŽSR spokesman Miloš Čikovský said November 10.
Current passenger ticket sales cover only 28% of the total costs of passenger transport. The last change in passenger fares took place on February 15, 2000, with a hike of 30%.


Compiled by Ed Holt from SITA

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