Officials denied speculations the Government of Serbia hired domestic Energoprojekt Entel and the Economics Institute to evaluate the assets of Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS) in order for the state to be able to sell it.
Minister of mining and energy Aleksandar Antić said the aim is to strengthen the enterprise, Tanjug agency reported. He stressed media reports about an upcoming privatization are not true.
EPS is in the process of restructuring, where the corporatization phase is over and now financial consolidation is underway, said the official, re-elected earlier this month after parliamentary elections. EPS may become a joint stock company next year, Antić stated. Therefore, he added, the Government is working on defining the utility’s property.
Branko Kovačević, chairman of the Supervisory Board of EPS, said privatization is out of the question at this moment. He stressed EPS must become a joint stock company, and that its assets must be determined for this to happen. This is the first step towards the listing on a stock exchange, where the price of the company would grow, he said. EPS is not ready for sale now, Kovačević underscored, saying he believes state-owned enterprises that are profitable should not be privatized.
July 1 was the deadline for the switch to a joint stock company, but the plans for the move were postponed for another year, domestic media said.