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Kosovo privatisation process: giants turn

Prishtina, 12 July 2007 - Over 350 enterprises in Kosovo were privatized until now. Some big "Socially Owned Enterprises" (SEOs) in Kosovo avoided this process, such as Trepca. Publicly owned companies such as Kosovo Energey Corporation (KEK), Post and telecom of Kosovo (PTK), etc, were considered as potentially favorable to enter the privatization process.

The most profitable company, PTK is reviewing a possibility of coming closer to privatization. According to PTK high officials, an international tender of consultant nature is expected to be announced soon, where it is expected to review the interest and the price for this company.

“The analyses show that this company reaches a value up to 1,1 billion Euros, while the fact whether it would be privatised or not and when this would happen is up to Kosovo Government,” said PTK officials.

Trepca, once a giant of local economy, is now working with only few assets. One of the factors that makes impossible to this company to be strong is the lack of investments.

KTA Deputy Managing Director Ahmet Shala said that the Kosovo Trust Aagency (KTA - in charge of privatization process) is looking at the modalities on the approach to big companies in general. “Trepca needs big investment and where to get this money to make Trepca as it was during 80ies. The second issue is the past of this company, since there are voices that speak that there are two and more owners, who had invested and possessed rights in this giant. We should find a solution to Trepca, which would not be disputed by anybody,” said Shala and added that there is almost an unanimous consensus on how to approach Trepca.

Minister of Trade and Industry and the member of KTA Board, Bujar Dugolli, said that the issue of the owner of Trepca cannot be disputed, since in Ahtisaari’s draft it is specified that all properties in Kosovo are transferred to Kosovo institutions for management, no matter who were the owners up to now. “The institutions will decide whether they will be privatized, how they will be privatized and when will this take place,” said Minister Dugolli.

Dugolli added that Kosovo Budget cannot invest the required amounts for maintenance and activation of Kosovo mines, so the privatization is the only solution.

"The privatization of Trepca, KEK and PTK will take long time, perhaps more than one year, so their privatization will take place after status, while modalities, ways and other issues remain to be seen in the future", said the KTA Deputy Managing Director Ahmet Shala.



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