Cabinet rejects VSŽ share sale

THE SLOVAK cabinet has turned down the sale of a 16.5 percent stake in the ex-steelmaker VSŽ currently held by the National Property Fund (FNM) privatisation agency.

The FNM had planned to sell the shares at their nominal value of Sk343 (€8.25) per share on the public market on July 23. If no buyer was found, the FNM could have settled for Sk88 (€2.12) per share on July 24.

Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš said the proposed price drove the cabinet to turn down the deal.

FNM spokesperson Tatjana Lesajová does not think the shares can be sold before VSŽ shareholders meet at the end of July. Financial speculators Penta Group, which already owns a minority stake in VSŽ, wants to have the shares withdrawn from the capital market.

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