At a meeting with Slovak Finance Minister Brigita Schmognerová on April 1, French Minister of Foreign Trade Jacques Dondoux stated that gas company Gaz de France is prepared to invest 4 billion crowns in Slovak gas storage company Nafta Gbely.
The French minister also presented the interest of France Telecom to invest in Slovak Telecom. The Slovak government has announced the desire to see a foreign investor enter into this state-owned company this year.
Dondoux also reiterated the interest of France to take part in the construction of the Bratislava metro. As he said the French side offers an 18- month grace period for installments of the loan provided for the metro construction. The Slovak minister informed him that the Slovak government has no sources to subsidize the construction of metro and will provide no state guarantees for the foreign loan destined for its construction.
In August 1996, the national privatization agency FNM sold 45.9% of Nafta for 500 million crowns although the market value of the package at the time of sale was over 3 billion crowns.
The FNM has since transferred 40.9% of the company back to its account, but is looking to reprivatize the share soon.