* Raises questions over IMF commitment
* New government pledged to seek new IMF deal early in 2013
BUCHAREST Dec 19 Romania postponed the sale of
minority stakes in several state controlled companies, as agreed
with the International Monetary Fund, by a year to end-2013, the
government said on Wednesday.
The leftist government of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, which
won an overwhelming victory in a Dec. 9 parliamentary election,
did not give a reason for the decision, which raises questions
over Romania's commitment to working with the IMF.
The IMF has regularly criticised the European Union's
second-poorest member for failing to sell and reform its
inefficient and oversized state sector, which holds back an
economy that is only slowly emerging from a deep recession.
Romania committed to an ambitious series of privatisations
under a 5 billion euro deal that expires in early 2013 but has
only concluded a secondary listing in power grid operator
Transelectrica, raising 38 million euros.
Ponta has pledged to seek a replacement IMF deal as soon as
his new government is approved by parliament, which is expected
The government announcement, published on its website, said
it was extending a deadline to list stakes in companies
including freight railway firm CFR Marfa, airline Tarom, natural
gas producer Romgaz and nuclear power firm Nuclearelectrica
until the end of next year.
The sale of a minority stake in gas pipeline operator
Transgaz is also delayed.