* Serbian PM says bids for Telekom Srbija fell short
* Second major failed privatisation this year
* Second time government rejects bids for telecoms provider (Adds more quotes, details, background)
BELGRADE, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Serbia’s government on Friday rejected as too low all offers for a majority stake in telecoms provider Telekom Srbija, the second major privatisation attempt to fail in the Balkan country this year.
Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic did not say what the bids were, only that they fell short of what the government and unions had hoped for.
“I am not happy with this decision. I wish we had a better price,” Vucic told a news conference, without naming the six bidders.
He said the government may decide to offer a package of minority shares on the stock market.
The sale of Telekom Srbija was central to a government drive to relax its influence on the local economy, a commitment made to the International Monetary Fund under a 1.2 billion euro standby loan agreement and to the European Union, which Serbia wants to join.
The government has already seen the failure of a tender this year to sell the state’s sole steel mill in Smederevo south of Belgrade.
A previous Serbian government in 2011 rejected a 1.1 billion euro bid by Telekom Austria for a 51 percent stake in Telekom Srbija.
Vucic’s government had offered 58 percent and was targeting bids of around 1.4 billion euros.
The company employs around 8,600 people and reported a 13 percent rise in net profit last year to 17.8 billion Serbian dinars ($158.2 million).
Telekom Srbija is a majority stakeholder in Bosnia’s second-largest telecom operator, Telekom Srpske, and controls Montenegrin mobile operator M:Tel. (Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Writing by Ivana Sekularac; Editing by Matt Robinson and Mark Potter)
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