(Adds comments on OMV, telecoms)
VIENNA, Sept 26 Austria should sell off some of
its holdings in companies if it brings a strategic benefit, the
minister tipped to take over the finance ministry after
elections on Sunday was quoted as saying by a newspaper.
The Austrian government holds stakes ranging from blocking
minorities to majorities in what it considers strategic firms,
including energy group OMV, Telekom Austria
and Austrian Post.
"I am in favour of privatisations where it makes sense, but
we can't sell off the family silver just so that it is no longer
in state hands," Economy Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner told the
WirtschaftsBlatt in an interview published on Thursday.
"I am very open to the idea if it brings strategic
advantages," he said.
Metterlehner said that in infrastructure and essential
services, such as telecoms or OMV, there were appropriate
blocking minorities and syndicated stakes.
"With all the others, it is a question of market conditions
and stock exchange developments," he said.
Austria's plan to balance its budget by 2016 is threatened
by the prospect of huge costs for selling troubled state bank
Hypo Alpe Adria, which could need up to 5.4 billion
euros ($7.3 billion) in fresh capital by 2017.
Mitterlehner is a member of the conservative People's Party,
which is expected to win enough votes to continue as the junior
coalition party of the Social Democrats.
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by David Holmes and