ECONOMIC BRIEFS

Cabinet scheduled to revise strategic companies law

Cabinet is scheduled to discuss a revision to the law on strategic companies in February. The revision will reduce the number of companies currently on the list of 'strategic' firms (which means they cannot be privatised), and the law will be restricted to apply only to natural monopolies, Privatization Minister Mária Machová said at a press conference on February 4.

Machová said this step would not mean the immediate privatization of former strategic companies. She admitted that their shares might be offered to citizens under a scheme to allow citizens to redeem FNM bonds by taking shares in some companies.

Ladislav Sklenár, head of the supervisory board of the FNM national privatisation agency, said that the FNM is preparing a model for such an exchange.

The law on strategic state-owned and controlled companies currently bans the privatisation of firms such as crude oil pipeline operator Transpetrol, power producer Slovenské Elektrárne, savings bank Slovenská Sporiteľňa and insurer Slovenská Poisťovňa.

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