17 April 2013 | 12:34 | FOCUS News Agency
Bucharest. Romania has sold a 15-percent stake in the natural gas distributor Transgaz, raising $94.9 million (72 million euros), Energy Minister Constantin Nita said Wednesday, cited by AFP.
The sale was one of Romania's commitments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union (EU), which have provided Bucharest with up to 25 billion euros in emergency credit.
"The operation was a success, a good start for the privatisations to come," Nita told a press conference.
Around 70 percent of the stake was bought by foreign investors, at an average price per share of 179 lei ($52.7).
Romania now plans to sell a stake in Nuclearelectrica, the company that operates a nuclear power plant in Cernavoda, in May, followed in September by stakes in the gas producer Romgaz, the Oltenia energy plant and possibly in the electricity company Hidroelectrica.
Deadlines for these sales have been repeatedly renegotiated with the IMF since Romanian authorities failed to keep to the initial timetable.
The IMF insists that the sale of big, loss-making transport and energy companies will spur Romania's economic growth, which is expected to reach 1.5 percent in 2013, up from 0.7 percent last year.
Romania concluded a 20-billion-euro bailout deal with the IMF and the EU in 2009 in exchange for strict austerity measures.
In 2011, the country signed a new agreement for a credit line of 5.0 billion euros, to be drawn only in case of emergency.