A ruling by a Kyiv court has prevented the sale of a 1% stake in Ukrainian fixed line incumbent Ukrtelecom on the country’s stock exchange, reports local online newspaper rynok.biz. The sale, which was scheduled to take place yesterday, was banned as a result of a lawsuit brought by Dotrin-2002, a company run by the ‘All-Ukrainian organisation for invalids’ based in Khmelnitskyi. The 1% stake was expected to be auctioned at a starting price of UAH215.35 million (USD44.77 million); the shares have a reported face value of UAH46.8 million.
Ukraine’s State Property Fund published details of the planned 22 May auction in mid-April, and later that month the Cabinet press office reported that a further sale of 1% of Ukrtelecom shares would take place on 8 June. The State Property Fund had previously said that the 1% stakes would be divided into smaller lots worth around UAH2 million to UAH3 million, to be auctioned off separately on the domestic bourse. The government also said it planned to sell a total of 5% of shares in the former monopoly in the first half of this year in 1% slices, aiming to generate up to UAH1 billion. Its wider privatisation plan for the company provides for preservation of state ownership of a 50%-plus-one-share controlling interest, with 37.86% of total stock sold on international stock exchanges between 1 August and 31 December 2007. The state currently owns 92.86% of Ukrtelecom; the remainder is owned by the company’s management (5%) and employees (2.14%).