SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 29,2008) - The President of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bosnia , Edhem Biber, has called for changes to privatisation legislation, claiming that current regulations cannot provide a swift and transparent process.
Biber stated that the government should retain a controlling stake in state-owned telcos HT Mostar and BH Telecom. The calls have been backed by the Employers’ Association of the FBIH entitya, which also believes that a new privatisation framework is needed, and that in the current economic climate the sale of national telcos should be postponed.
In response to the claims, a statement from the Sarajevo Stock Exchange (SASE) argues that should the sale of the telcos not take place it would deny the market its mechanisms for determining the value of a business, as well as the small investors their right to take part in the process. The SASE has also reiterated that the government has stated a portion of the privatisation proceeds would be injected into the stock market, and the financial body believes this could stimulate the market.
The government itself has identified the need to speed up the privatisation process, claiming that BH Telecom has lost approximately 10% of its value due to inflation, and according to the prime minister of the FBIH entity, Nedzad Brankovic, the process for the preparing paperwork for an international tender would take approximately three months; it is expected that tenders will be invited before the end of 2009.