Don’t quote him, but Finance Minister says OTE privatisation is ‘a priority’

5 Dec 2006

Greek Finance Minister Giorgios Alogoskoufis said yesterday that the privatisation of national telco Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) will be a priority for the government in 2007. He told a conference: ‘For the next few months our basic priority is the privatisation of OTE and the search for a strategic investor for the organisation so that it is able to address both the economic and technological challenges of the future from a stronger position.’ Responding to a report in newspaper Vima On Sunday, quoting himself, that the government is planning to sell a 20% stake in OTE, Alogoskoufis said that no specific target has in fact been set. ‘We have not set a specific percentage,’ he said, adding that the 20% referred to in the press was an approximate amount. The state owns a 38.7% stake in OTE, and hopes to complete a partial stake sale by June next year as part of its EUR1.7 billion privatisation programme. Egypt’s Weather Investments has shown interest, whilst Deutsche Telekom, Telekom Austria, Russia’s Sistema and a number of private equity houses are amongst the potential bidders.

Greece, Cosmote