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Černák says SPP-FNM joint venture on cabinet's agenda for June 16

Economy Minister Ľudovít Černák said on June 7 that cabinet would discuss a draft bill on the establishment of a joint venture between the FNM privatisation agency and state gas monopoly SPP for control of the gas storage companies Nafta Gbely and Nafta Trade at its June 16 session.

Černák said that FNM and SPP lawyers had spent many days negotiating the return of the Nafta stakes from a former top-ranking official of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), Trnava entrepreneur Vladimír Poór. The minister said he was not worried that Poór might sell his Nafta stake to a foreign investor.

FNM President Ľudovít Kaník said that SPP could in future buy the FNM's stake in the joint-venture company. Kanik said the FNM was not discriminating between investors, but stressed that the FNM would sell its stake in the joint-venture only to a strong investor. Any decision to sell the FNM's stake to the SPP, thus, would depend on whether the SPP had enough money to invest.

Nafta ended 1Q99 with a profit of 257.5 million Slovak crowns, up from 200.3 million crowns profit in the same period of 1998. Output grew 19% to 783.9 million crowns on almost doubled production costs of 316.4 million crowns.

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