Kosovo parliament postpones vote on sale of PTK telecom again

By bne IntelliNews September 26, 2013

The parliamentary vote required to authorise the sale of Kosovo's PTK telecom failed to take place on Wednesday, Sep 25, as the ruling coalition of PM Hashim Thaci was unable to secure a majority to support the motion, Reuters reported. The assembly first failed to vote on the issue last week due to a lack of quorum.

Back in April, Kosovo's government approved the EUR 277mn bid of Germany's Axos Capital for the privatisation of 75% of PTK, but the deal requires parliamentary approval. However, a considerable number of parliament members are against the privatisation - including both members of the opposition and lawmakers from Thaci's governing coalition.

In the light of the hurdles present in the assembly, the government has sent a letter to Axos Capital, requesting it to postpone the signature until at least October 21, economy minister Fadil Ismalji told Reuters. The deal was initially due to be signed by September 30.

An unnamed international telecoms expert told Reuters that another failed attempt to privatise PTK would have serious consequences for Kosovo - it would ward off investors and could threaten the political stability in the country. In 2010, the first bid to sell PTK triggered the fall of the then coalition government.

PTK posted a EUR 38.3mn net profit in 2012, down 16.8% from a year earlier, due to both lower revenue and higher expenditures. The company has 1.0 million mobile subscribers and 100,000 landline customers.

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