Bloomberg News

Kosovo 2012 State Budget Sees Sale of Telephone Operator PTK

December 20, 2011

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Kosovo, the Balkan nation that declared independence in 2008, will attempt to sell state-owned telecommunications company Posta dhe Telekomunikacioni i Kosoves Sh.A., according to the 2012 state budget.

Lawmakers in the capital Pristina voted 63-47 today to approve the budget, which plans total spending of 1.52 billion euros ($2 billion). The sale of as much as 75 percent of the phone company, known as PTK, is expected in the first three months of next year, according to public broadcaster Radiotelevizioni i Kosoves.

The government of Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is counting on 100 million euros from the International Monetary Fund in the first half of next year to fund part of the expenditures and also plans to sell 75 million euros of government bonds to local investors for the first time.

The predominantly Albanian province, which declared independence from Serbia more than three years ago, needs to cut public spending to get financial assistance from the IMF. The Washington-based lender halted the disbursement of funds this year because of the government’s failure to rein in expenditures. The IMF sees Kosovo’s economy expanding 4 percent next year and said last month it may renew its assistance in 2012.

The Balkan nation canceled the sale of PTK in October due to a corruption investigation at the Pristina-based company. Before that, T-Hrvatski Telekom d.d. of Croatia and Telekom Austria AG were chosen as finalists to purchase the phone company.

--Editors: Alan Crosby, Balazs Penz

To contact the reporters on this story: Bekim Greicevci in Pristina via Ljubljana newsroom at bekim.greicevci@gmail.com Boris Cerni in Ljubljana at bcerni@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net


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