Romania aims to list minority stakes in energy firms

Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:34am EST

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BUCHAREST Feb 28 (Reuters) - Romania aims to list minority stakes in gas grid operator Transgaz and nuclear power producer Nuclearelectrica in April and in May, part of a wider reform plan under an IMF-led aid deal, Energy Minister Constantin Nita said on Thursday.

Under the 5 billion euros aid deal led by the International Monetary Fund, the leftist government of Prime Minister Victor Ponta has agreed to sell either full or minority stakes in a raft of state-owned companies this year, after repeated delays.

In January, the IMF said it had agreed to extend Romania's aid deal by another three months past its March expiry deadline, as the government needs more time to enforce privatisations and reform its sprawling state-owned enterprises. [ID: nL5N0AY8HC]

"I have to list a 15 percent stake in Transgaz sometime around April 15, and ... 10 percent in Nuclearelectrica around May 10-15, and I will," Nita was quoted as saying by state news agency Agerpres.

The government has also agreed to fully privatise rail freight carrier CFR Marfa, as well as list minority stakes in gas producer Romgaz, hydro power firm Hidroelectrica and the holding firm Oltenia that operates lignite-fired power plants.

It has not estimated how much it could make from the sales, but market estimates show it could get around 1 billion euros from the minority listings, based on data from investment fund Fondul Proprietatea, a minority shareholder in all the firms.

However, analysts are sceptical the government will move forward with all the selloffs, based on repeated delays since the IMF-led aid deal started. [ID: nL5E9C98IT] (Reporting by Luiza Ilie; editing by James Jukwey)

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