Czech PM Necas slams Albanias decision to revoke CEZ licence.

By bne IntelliNews January 23, 2013
The withdrawal of licence of CEZ Distribution, the Albanian unit of Czech power utility CEZ, sends a negative signal for the relations between the two countries, Czech news agency CTK reported citing Czech PM Petr Necas. Although Czech-Albanian relations have always been good and friendly, the actions of Albanian authorities against CEZ have been a disappointment, Necas was cited as saying. According to him, Albania has to prove that it is a law-abiding country. Moreover, countries aspiring to become members of the EU need to secure the rule of law and a healthy investment environment, including protection of foreign investments. Necas also noted that the Czech state, which controls the majority stake in CEZ, will back the company in its efforts to seek damages. Meanwhile Czech online daily Insider reported that CEZ might not be able to draw the EUR60mn guarantee from the World Bank made as part of the privatisation deal following the Albanian regulators decision to place CEZ Distribution under temporary management. It is in the competence of CEZ Distributions administrator to apply for drawing the guarantee. CEZs losses in Albania amount to EUR205mn, CEZ board member Tomas Pleskac told Insider. The company wants to get part of the money back in arbitration proceedings. CEZ Group entered Albanian market in March 2009 with the purchase of 76% of CEZ Distribution, formerly known as OSSH, for EUR 102mn.

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