SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 23,2008) - Top FBIH entity government officials and experts said yesterday that the Bosnian largest telecoms company needed to be urgently privatised before investors lost interest in a time of global recession.
The FBIH entity government two years ago proposed privatising Sarajevo-based BH Telekom but the parliament has blocked the sale amid political bickering.
"The government sees the telecoms privatisation as a generator of economic growth," the FBIH Entity Prime Minister Nedzad Brankovic told a conference on the privatisation of telecoms.
He said the parliament was expected to vote on the government's sell-off plan soon and the government needed the money for infrastructure and development projects,.
BH Telekom, in which the government owns a 90 percent stake, is the larger of two telecoms companies operating in the FBIH entity.
Under the plan, the FBIH entity government plans to sell a 51 percent stake in BH Telekom to a strategic investor and offer a 10 percent stake to investors on an international bourse and up to five percent to the Bosnian citizens on the Sarajevo stock exchange.
Officials put a value of up to 3 billion Bosnian Marks (2 billion US Dollars) on BH Telekom but its share price values it at 1.2 billion. The company made a profit of 162.5 million Bosnian Marks in 2007.