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BELGRADE (Serbia), February 22 (SeeNews) - Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic said the government expects to complete the privatisation of state-run copper mining and smelting company RTB Bor by the end of the year, local media reported.
Chinese and Russian investors have expressed interest in the privatisation of the company and the government plans to launch the tender in May, Vucic said, as quoted in RTB Bor's corporate newsletter Kolektiv on Wednesday.
RTB Bor needs an investment of about 300 million euro ($368.7 million) to be able to increase the production of its Cerovo open-pit and Jama underground mines, Vucic also said.
Earlier this week, Belgrade-based media reported the government plans to extend the deadline for the launch of a tender for the privatisation of RTB Bor until the end of June for procedural reasons.
According to the eighth and final review of Serbia’s performance under the stand-by arrangement (SBA) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the government has set end-March as the deadline for the launch of the tender.
In December, Serbia's government said it launched a call for an adviser in the privatisation of RTB Bor. Discussions with potential investors are ongoing, including discussions on addressing environmental risks.
A Serbian court approved in July 2016 a plan for the restructuring of RTB Bor, allowing the write-off of 90% of the company's unsecured debt. Under the plan, the remaining 10% will be repaid over eight years with a one-year grace period, while the secured debt will be converted into equity.