Privatisation of state shares ceased
Sales of real estate owned by state-controlled companies become subject to approval by the National Assembly
13 May, 2017
The privatisation of state shares and stakes in companies is set to be banned, announced Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov following the government’s meeting on 10 May.
Legislative amendments to that effect have been published on the Ministry of Economy’s official website for public discussion.
“All ongoing procedures concerning the privatisation of shares and stakes of state-controlled companies will be immediately suspended,” Minister Karanikolov said.
The bill imposes a ban on the sale of state shares and stakes in companies where the government has over 50% interest in the equity. Sales of autonomous units of medical facilities have also been prohibited. Real estate owned by state-controlled companies may be sold only after the National Assembly has approved such moves proposed by the Council of Ministers.
According to Karanikolov, the idea is for state-controlled companies to be developed from now on. He pointed out that these are companies with over 20-year-old history, with some, like representatives of the military-industrial complex for example, even recording profits. Analyses by the Privatisation and Post-Privatisation Control Agency show that over 98% of the companies that were not on the prohibited list under the Privatisation and Post-Privatisation Control Act have been sold to private owners. The rest have been up for sale in the past 3-4 years but have seen no interest expressed by investors. Finally, the companies on the non-privatisation list are strategic for Bulgaria and the government will do its best to develop them in the future, just as it has been doing so far.
Following the Cabinet’s meeting, Minister of Finance Vladislav Goranov commented that the privatisation process has long played out its role and at this point it is about the government focusing on the management of state property.
Goranov also said that the procedure to vote the Concessions Act that President Rumen Radev returned for more parliamentary discussions earlier will be renewed. According to Goranov, the government sees no reason to stop the concession of Sofia Airport and the procedure will be allowed to move forward.