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Malchárek: SE privatization pushed back to early 2006

THE PRIVATIZATION of a 66-percent stake in Slovakia's dominant power producer Slovenské elektrárne (SE) will be finalised early next year instead of by the end of the year, as originally agreed, Economy Minister Jirko Malcharek said on November 4, the TASR news wire reported.

"We certainly will not make the end-of-year deadline," said Malchárek, suggesting that early next year was more realistic.

The state privatization agency the National Property Fund (FNM) approved Enel's investment strategy for SE, but the completion of the transaction hangs in the balance. A number of issues are yet to be settled, including SE's unfavourable long-term contracts with clients such as aluminium smelter Slovalco and the EU-inspired closure of ageing reactors at the nuclear power plant Jaslovské Bohunice.

Slovakia signed a deal with Enel to privatize a 66-percent stake in SE for €840 million in February with opt-out clauses if either party is dissatisfied.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
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