Serbia for sale
Vranje-based furniture producer Simpo will be sold in a tender, the company and the Privatisation Agency have confirmed, according to Vecernje Novosti, reports Serbia and Montenegro Today.
With Simpo majority owned by private small stockholders, only the state's minority stake, of 40%, will be put up for sale, but the buyer will be obliged to buy out all small shareholders who want to sell at the same per share price paid for the state equity, according to Aleksej Misailovic of the Privatisation Agency.
- Komercijalna Bank
Serbian Minister of Finance Mladjan Dinkic, Head of the Financial Institutions Group and Equity at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Kurt Geiger and Komercijalna Bank's president and vice-president Ivica Smolic and Predrag Mihajlovic signed a recapitalisation agreement for 25% of Komercijalna Bank's assets, which made EBRD Komercijalna's minority shareholder, reports Serbia and Montenegro Today.
The EBRD took over 25% of Komercijalna Bank's assets for €70 million, which is 2.9 times higher than its book value, Dinkic said. He told a press conference that Komercijalna Bank, with its 300 branch offices in Serbia, has the largest bank network in the country.
The state remains Komercijalna's majority owner with 51% of shares. The state will not sell its share in this bank in the next three years, Dinkic said, adding that together with the EBRD, the state will make conditions for the sale of minority packages of shares on the stock exchange so as to increase the number of bank's small shareholders.
Mobilcom Austria, UK Vodafone, Greek OTE, Norwegian Telenor and Spanish Telefonica have all expressed great interest in the announced tender for issuing of the second mobile operator license in Serbia, reports Serbia and Montenegro Today.
Experts in Vienna have estimated that the value of the joint Serbian-Austrian company is between EUR 800 million and one billion euros. For this company, which represents a joint property of Austrian consortium headed by businessman Martin Schlaff and Mobtel, the Government of Serbia hopes to raise a minimum price of EUR 700 million.
Year or two ago, Mobtel's value was estimated to at least EUR 1,2 billion. Experts of the Raiffeisen zentrobank from Vienna estimated that the value of Mobtel, which is targeted by Mobilcom Austria, is about EUR 900 million. With close to 1,9 million clients, Mobtel is ranked between Croatia's Vipnet with 1,3 million users, which was already acquired by Mobilcom through Bulgaria's Mobiltel, which has three million clients (acquired for EUR 1,6 billion).
As Mobtel's revenues in 2005 reached somewhat above EUR 300 million, analysts of Raiffeaisen zentrobank multiplied this figure by three, concluding that the value of Mobtel was close to EUR 900 million.
Hungary's OTP Bank has submitted a preliminary non-binding bid for 87.39% of Panonska Banka, media reported. In December 2005, ten foreign banks submitted letters of intent to take over Panonska, with suitors including Greek Piraeus Bank, National Bank of Greece, and Alpha Bank, OTP, Polish PKO Bank Polski, HVB Bank, French Credit Agricole, German Bayerische Landesbank (Bayern LB), and Italian Sanpaolo and Banca Intesa.
Panonska, based in Novi Sad, has a 1.7% market share in terms of total assets, which stood at EUR 32 million at the end of June 2005. The bank serves 100,000 customers through a network of 56 branch offices.
- JP PEU
Serbian Privatisation Agency has published a privatisation prospect, thus initiating the privatisation of the Public company (JP) for underground coal exploitation (PEU) Resavica, reports Serbia and Montenegro Today.
JP PEU operates nine coalmines: Rembas, Vrska Cuka, Ibarski rudnici, Bogovin, Soko, Jasenovac, Lubnica, Stavalj and Aleksinacki rudnici, which jointly employ 4.492 workers.
Basic activity of these coalmines is production of lignite, stone-coal, anthracite and boron minerals. The Agency is offering for sale 70 percent of the capital of coalmines, while interested buyers should apply by March 31.
- Vojvodjanska bank
National Bank of Greece (NBG) offered about EUR 500 million for 99,4 percent of capital of Vojvodjanska bank, while Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) offered close to EUR 450 million, according to Serbia and Montenegro Today.
As stated by the daily, Bank Austria, aside from offered EUR 450 million, also expressed readiness to invest even more through further investments.
NBG, as the only bidder the offer of which is guaranteed by the state, is ready to offer up to EUR 700 million for the takeover of Vojvodjanska bank, writes daily Pregled, reminding that after Tender commission completes negotiations with two best-ranked bidders, final offers for this takeover would be submitted by the middle of this year.
At the beginning of this month, Serbian Deposit Insurance Agency stated that the best three offers for the acquisition of Vojvodjanska bank were submitted by NBG, BA-CA and Poland's PKO, out of the total of 11 banks which have forwarded their expression of interest.
Vojvodjanska is the fifth largest bank in Serbia with a 5.8 pct market share and is 99.4 pct owned by the Serbia state. It has a network of 175 branches, assets of 471 mln eur and its 2005 net profits reached 794,000 eur. National Bank currently operates 24 branches in Serbia.