Source: RTS | Monday, 29.10.2018.| 12:17
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Investors needed for privatization of another 90 companies – “Forced” bankruptcy not an option

(Photo: sabthai/shutterstock.com)
Of the 556 companies that were on the list for privatization four years ago, 90 remain. The Government is satisfied with the finished procedures. They are now looking for sustainable solutions for the factories of the petrochemical complex as well.

Companies which used to incur the biggest losses have been successfully privatized. With the arrival of Chinese companies to Zelezara and RTB Bor, more than ten thousand jobs have been saved. The Ministry of Economy is performing analyses for the privatization of the remaining 90 companies and some solutions are expected to be ready by the New Year.

– I hope that the tempo will now increase and that we will enter 2019 with around 80 companies remaining, which is then further to drop to 50 or 40, so we can say that we are heading toward the completion of the privatization procedure in Serbia – says Dragan Ugrcic, Assistant Minister of Economy.

The tendering for another two strategic companies, MSK and Petrohemija, will start in the first quarter of the next year. Petrohemija is very important, as it is one of the biggest exporters from Serbia.

– Petrohemija and Zelezara need a stronger company to run it, someone who can recover it technologically and ecologically – says Ljubodrag Savic, a professor at the Faculty of Economic in Belgrade.

The Ministry of Economy is also optimistic about solving the statuses of other, smaller companies.

– The fact that there are no potential investors for these companies at the moment doesn't mean that there won't be in a year or two. What's very important is for those companies not to be a burden to the taxpayers and the budget of Serbia. We are waiting for true investors and we do not want to force those companies into bankruptcy – Ugrcic says.

The plan is for the privatization process to be completed by the end of 2020 in order for those companies to enter the development stage, in line with the agreement between the Government of Serbia and the IMF.
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