BUSINESS IN SHORT

Slovak Telekom to end up in private hands

THE STATE will sell its minority share in Slovak Telekom (ST), but not this year, said Economy Minister Tomáš Malatinský after the October 16 government session. He added that the working group is currently dealing with comments to the memorandum, which will specify the conditions of the sale, including individual steps and a time schedule, the TASR newswire reported.

THE STATE will sell its minority share in Slovak Telekom (ST), but not this year, said Economy Minister Tomáš Malatinský after the October 16 government session. He added that the working group is currently dealing with comments to the memorandum, which will specify the conditions of the sale, including individual steps and a time schedule, the TASR newswire reported.

Most-Híd MP Ivan Švejna says that by selling ST to private hands the ruling Smer party will lose its image as a fighter against privatisation. Yet, he appreciates the plans, revealed by the Finance Ministry, to use the money to reduce the debt, the SITA newswire wrote.

The government confirmed the sale of a 49-percent share in ST in June. It will be either direct or made through a stock exchange.

One of the possible buyers is the company Deutsche Telekom, which owns a 51 percent share and wants to keep its right of first refusal. Yet, there are also other interested firms, including financial groups, the ministry told SITA.

Malatinský told the press it is possible ST might end up entirely in private hands since “given the state of affairs in the telecommunications industry, Slovak Telekom does not have as strategic a position any longer”, as reported by TASR.

Though the state has not said how it will use the money from the sale, Finance Minister Peter Kažimír said that the yields might go to reduce Slovakia’s debt, as reported by TASR.

One of the possibilities presented earlier was to use it for the expropriation of the private health insurers, according to SITA.

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