Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

CORPORATE BRIEFS

Nafta Gbely deal revised

Slovakia reached an agreement to revise the heavily criticised 1996 privatisation of oil and gas storage firm Nafta Gbely, whose little-known owner will return most of its stake, the FNM state privatisation agency said on March 17.

Under the cabinet of former Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar, the firm Druhá Obchodná had acquired a 45.9% stake in Nafta at a fraction of its market price. The government of Mikuláš Dzurinda said it had found enough legal violations in the deal for a court to return Nafta to state hands.

"We have a preliminary agreement that Druhá Obchodná will return to the FNM 40.9% of its 45.9% stake," FNM spokeswoman Alžbeta Šimonovičová said.

Vladimir Poór, the owner of Druhá Obchodná and a top figure in Mečiar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) party, had originally proposed that Druhá Obchodná return its stake in exchange for the 500 million crowns ($12.3 million) it was bought for.

The local daily paper Sme reported on March 17 that some of the key strategic assets of Nafta had been transferred to other companies. No one was immediately available at Nafta to comment on the issue.

One equity analyst, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "It seems that the gas storage tanks under construction, Nafta's main potential growth asset, are only 25% owned by Nafta itself. We have to wait to see if there will be any other forms of compensation once the deal is disclosed."

The FNM spokeswoman gave no further details on the deal.

Nafta accounts for 3.9% of the capitalisation of the Bratislava Bourse's official SAX index. On March 16 it closed down 2.9% at 340 crowns.

The government of Vladimír Mečiar had been accused by the then opposition of promoting "crony capitalism" in which state assets were sold, often at generous prices, to political allies in return for future favours.

Top stories

Slovak scientist in the US: Slovak science needs more than just money to thrive

It seems as if we do not want skilled scientists to return home, says Dominika Truban, who founded a platform connecting Slovak researchers abroad and at home.

Dominika Truban

The Education Ministry to restore the analytical institute

The institute that is part of the Value for Money initiative was merged with another body at the beginning of the year.

Education Minister Martina Lubyová

New web app shows property owned by politicians

The aim is to clearly show publicly accessible information about public officials that is scattered through various state websites and registers.

Zsolt Simon

Blog: Helping others helps your company too

Tatiana Čaplová, Program Coordinator for CSR at the Pontis Foundation, offers a very interesting look behind the scenes of the most successful CSR event in Slovakia - Naše Mesto (Our City).

Bratislava