IMF starts quarterly review of stand-by deal with Romania in late January.

By bne IntelliNews January 11, 2012
An IMF mission is expected to arrive in Romania later this month for a fourth quarterly review of the stand-by agreement (SBA) signed with the country in the spring of 2011, news agency Agerpres reported. The IMF's latest visit took place between October 25 and November 7 and the review was endorsed by the fund's board of directors on December 19. The whole arrangement is worth EUR 3.6bn as a total of EUR 1.6bn have been made available so far for Romania to draw in emergency situation. Both Romanian Finance Minister Gheorghe Ialomitianu and the country's representative in the IMF, Mihai Tanasescu, however, indicated that Romania will continue treating the arrangement as precautionary and does not intend to draw under it. The IMF outlined in December the need for further efforts in reforming state-owned enterprises and in financial sector monitoring. The government has indeed a tight calendar of state-controlled companies' IPOs and SPOs this year agreed with the IMF as part of a broader reform programme of the public sector. The government will first offer 15% in power grid operator Transelectrica at SPO in February. It will then put for sale a 15% stake in natural gas transportation company Transgaz in April-May. The most attractive companies to investors are Romgaz, which produces some 4-5bn cubic metres of natural gas per year, Hidroelectrica, which produces a third of the country's electricity in its hydro power plants, and the country's sole nuclear plant operator, Nuclearelectrica, accounting for 18% of the national power output. Romgaz will have its shares floated in July-September, while Hidroelectrica and Nuclearelectrica would follow in November-December. The government plans to sell 15% stakes in Transelectrica, Transgaz and Romgaz and 10% stakes in Hidroelectrica and Nuclearelectrica.

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