* Loss-making state enterprises weighing on Serbian budget
* Finmin says to try again to sell JAT Airways and steel
BELGRADE Dec 14 Serbia plans to seek a buyer
for Galenika Pharmaceuticals early next year, as the government
tries to offload loss-making state enterprises and slash its
budget deficit by almost a half.
Galenika, a prescription drugmaker that employs 2,700, has
debt of 170 million euros ($222 million) and would need another
50 million in additional capital next year, finance minister
Mladjan Dinkic said on Friday.
Dinkic said the government would issue a tender for the sale
after the New Year. "We have no intention of securing sovereign
guarantees for its liquidity any more," he told a news
Loss-making state enterprises, many of them relics of the
former Yugoslavia, are weighing on the Serbian budget, which is
running a shortfall of some 6.2 percent of national output for
Gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to contract 2
The six-month-old government, trying to secure a new loan
deal with the International Monetary Fund, has pledged to slash
the shortfall in 2013 to 3.3 percent and return the economy to
Dinkic said the government would try again to sell indebted
flag carrier JAT Airways, adding that talks with Russian tank
and railcar producer Uralvagonzavod on buying Serbia's sole
steel mill were "going in the right direction" and could be
finalised in the first quarter of 2013.
The state bought back the loss-making mill, Zelezara
Smederevo, last year from U.S. Steel. Serbia has been
trying for years without success to offload JAT, which operates
14 ageing aircraft.
($1 = 0.7641 euro)
(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Writing by Matt Robinson;
Editing by David Holmes)