The Axos Capital-led consortium expecting to take a 75% stake in state-owned telco Post and Telecommunication Kosovo (PTK) has given the Pristina government until the end of December this year to implement the sale. Local news portal Koha quotes a spokesperson for the consortium as saying: ‘If this process fails it will be a serious sign for Kosovo.’ Safet Gerxhaliu, the president of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce (KCC), explained that they are ready for the privatisation, but are being held back by parliament. Gerxhaliu went on to comment that the sale of PTK is ‘at a crossroads’, adding that if the wrong path is taken, the nation’s most profitable company could become an economic burden ‘which no one in the world would want to buy.’
As previously noted by CommsUpdate, the sale was agreed in April this year but has been delayed by fierce public and political resistance. A power struggle within the Kosovo parliament saw opposition politicians boycott a vote on the sale in late September, leaving the ruling party without a quorum to approve the deal. Opposition parties claim that the EUR227 million (USD307.72 million) price tag severely undervalues the company, whilst trade unions and the republic’s nationalist movement have accused the government of selling an important national asset to line their own pockets. Reports from outside of Kosovo, however, claim that the government has no intention of selling PTK, and is making a show of privatising the telco in order to meet conditions for financial assistance and international aid.