Romania plans its next privatisation initiatives

Monday, February 21, 2005 The Romanian Government has made plans and identified its aims for the next privatisation program which will end in 2006. By the end of next year, the government hopes to sell all of its shares in Romtelecom, Romania's largest telecommunications company, which is currently owned by Greece's OTE but which the government maintains a 47% share in. The full privatisation will occur in two phases, with some of the government's existing shares being sold on the Bucharest Stock Exchange this year, and the remainder being sold in 2006.

By 2006, the government also wants to sell its share in Postelecom, another telecommunications operator, and complete the privatisation of the Radiocomunicaţii, the national radio communications company.

The Government also wantes to begin analysis and consulting into the privatisation of Poşta Română, or Romanian Post, the full privatisation of which is set to be completed by 2009 at the latest.

Romania has embarked on a quite comprehensive program of privatisation since 2000, having privatised a part of Romtelecom, as well as full privatisations of several energy distributors and the nation's largest banks, in addition to other smaller companies. However, these privatisations are dwarfed by that of Petrom, Romania's national oil company, which was bought by Austria's OMV in 2004 and is the largest Romanian privatisation ever.

The current Liberal-Democrat governing coalition in Romania has privatisation and economic liberalism as one of its main policies, having also introduced a 16% flat tax rate for personal income and corporate profits at the start of 2005.