Clare Nuttall in Bucharest -
No major state-owned companies are expected to hold IPOs on the Romanian stock exchange in 2015, the manager of Romania’s Fondul Proprietatea (FP) said on January 21.
Earlier there had been speculation that hydropower producer Hidroelectrica and coal power producer Complexul Energetic Oltenia could list on the exchange this year. FP, which was set up to compensate Romanians whose property was confiscated in the communist era, holds minority stakes in both companies.
"Unfortunately from companies that are now in our portfolio, it is very unlikely that there will be any IPOs. This will be the first year since 2013 without any new listings on the stock exchange unless they are from private companies,” Greg Konieczny, executive vice president of Templeton Emerging Markets Group and manager of FP, told a press conference to mark the fourth anniversary of the fund’s listing on the Bucharest stock exchange.
Given that Hidroelectrica is still under insolvency procedures, Konieczny told journalists that even an IPO in 2016 “could be very challenging”.
Meanwhile Oltenia is no longer considered a suitable candidate for an IPO, he added.
The news follows a series of IPOs of major state-owned power companies in 2013 and 2014, which substantially boosted turnover on the Romanian exchange as well as attracting international investors.
Konieczny also indicated problems with the sale of Romanian postal operator Posta Romana. “We will know by end of the first quarter if the company will continue [its talks] with the Belgian company [bpost] that was the only potential bidder.”
However, he added that three other companies within FP’s portfolio - Constanta Port, Bucharest Airports and salt monopoly Salrom - are considered good candidates for IPOs, based on their size and financial results. FP is working with the government to reach decisions on the future of the three companies.
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