PTK deal on thin ice as parliament defers vote

26 Sep 2013

Kosovo’s government has requested a further postponement of the sale of a 75% stake in state-backed telco Post and Telecommunications Kosovo (PTK), as the deal continues to founder in parliament. The government agreed to offload the stake to a consortium of Axos Capital and Najafi Companies in April this year for EUR227 million (USD306.4 million), after a previous attempt to privatise the telco collapsed in mid-2011, when prospective buyers withdrew following allegations of corruption. Reuters writes that the current deal is being held hostage by a power struggle within the ruling Democratic Party; a planned vote on the sale fell through earlier this week due to a lack of quorum. Politicians boycotted the vote, claiming that the sale considerably undervalues the company. The deal has also come under fire from trade unions and the country’s nationalist movement, which have accused the government of selling an important national asset to line their own pockets. Economy Minister Fadil Ismalji was quoted as saying: ‘Today we have sent a request to the winner to postpone the signature until at least 21 October. The signature will depend on results in the parliament. The failure of this process would inflict great damage on Kosovo.’

Kosovo, Telecom Kosovo (TK, Vala)