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ST withholds dividends; state shareholders angry

FOR THE THIRD year in a row, Slovak Telecom (ST) decided to retain its profit. Slovak minority shareholders, the Transport Ministry and the National Property Fund, are disappointed. They have submitted an official protest to ST majority owner Deutsche Telekom, the daily Pravda reported.

In a special shareholders meeting the week of June 5, The Transport Ministry and the National Property Fund proposed that the telecom pay out Sk4.3 billion (€111.4 million) in dividends, which is one half of the profits earned over the last three years. With its minority 49-percent stake, however, the Slovak state was outvoted by Deutsche Telekom.

The Transport Ministry plans to initiate talks with the majority owner in hopes that "another special shareholders meeting is summoned and the dividends are approved", said the ministry's spokesperson, Tomáš Šarluška.

Tána Lesajová, spokesperson for the National Property Fund, said that her organization has seen "nothing from the telecom for years" in terms of dividends. She did not rule out that the state’s stakes would be sold through the stock exchange.

According to Pravda, the value of the 49-percent stake is Sk12.7 billion (€329 million).

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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