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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Slovakia says two options for Slovnaft stake

Slovak Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová said on April 18 she would hold further talks over a controversial EBRD stake in Slovakia's Slovnaft oil refiner, but promised that the issue would not be resolved before the end of the week.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) took a 10.5% stake in Slovnaft in 1995 by buying half the refiner's $113 million issue of global depositary receipts. The EBRD effectively paid 1,000 crowns per share and was angered when the Slovak state privatisation agency, the National Property Fund (FNM), soon afterwards sold 39% of Slovnaft to a management-led group for an implied price of 156 crowns. The EBRD wants the FNM to buy back its stake.

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