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ZAGREB (Croatia), August 21 (SeeNews) - The Croatian government will launch in September the first wave of expected privatisations, offering for sale mainly minority stakes in tourism companies, local media reported.
Last week, Zvonimir Savic, a special economic advisor to prime minister Andrej Plenkovic, said that the government will put up for sale its minority stakes in at least 90 companies in three waves by the middle of next year as part of preparations to adopt the euro.
According to an analysis by state broadcaster HRT aired on Tuesday, the government is first preparing the sale of its minority holdings in 30 firms next month, planning to carry out a second round of privatisations by the end of 2019 and a third wave in the beginning of 2020.
In the three waves, the government will seek buyers for state-held stakes no bigger than 15%, the report said.
In the first wave, the government will be putting up for sale stakes in tourism companies such as Arena Hospitality Group, FTB Tourism, Tankerska Plovidba, Laguna Novigrad and Maistra, it added.
In particular, the government plans to collect 19 million kuna ($2.9 million/2.8 million euro) from the sale of its 1.0% stake in blue-chip Arena Hospitality [ZSE:ARNT], some 4 million kuna from the sale of its 0.93% stake in FTB Tourism [ZSE:LRHC], some 1.6 million kuna from the sale of the 0.17% stake in Tankerska Plovidba and the same amount from the 0.7% stake in Laguna, as well as more than 1.0 million kuna from its 0.03% holdings in Maistra [ZSE:MAIS].
According to the analysis, the government could hope to raise the biggest amount of money - some 200 million kuna - from the sale of its 1.56% stake in Hrvatski Telekom [ZSE:HT], controlled by Deutsche Telekom.
In July, the Croatian authorities sent a letter of intent to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II), the first formal step towards adopting the euro, committing to carry out the privatisation of minority state stakes in 90 local companies as part of the preparations for the eurozone entry.
The government hopes that Croatia will join ERM II in about a year. The mechanism ensures that exchange rate fluctuations between the euro and other EU currencies do not disrupt economic stability within the single market. It also helps non euro-area countries to prepare for joining the euro area. The whole process of joining the euro area is expected to take at least four years to complete, including the two-year mandatory stay in ERM II.
(1 euro = 7.38225 kuna)