Monday, July 25, 2011

Romania to resume Petrom sale next year-agency

BUCHAREST, July 25 (Reuters) - Romania will resume its failed attempt to sell a 9.8 percent stake in oil and gas group Petrom in the first quarter of 2012 at the earliest, the economy minister was quoted as saying by news agency Mediafax.

The sale of the government's stake in the company failed on Friday after it did not receive enough bids at its minimum price, raising doubts over a privatisation drive promised in return for international aid.

"We will look for the best market conditions to resume the transaction. We want to sell at a fair price," Economy Minister Ion Ariton said.

The government plans to 15 percent stakes in two more energy companies, Transelectrica and Transgaz , later this year and a stake in gas producer Romgaz in 2012, under its 5 billion euros ($7.2 billion) IMF-led aid deal.

The Petrom stake was the first of the privatisations Romania agreed to with the IMF. Ariton said the deal with the lender would not have to be reviewed after the failed sale. (Reporting by Ioana Patran; Editing by David Holmes) ($1=.6933 EURO)

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