The Austrian government intends to tighten its grip on a number of prominent partly state-owned companies after agreeing to revamp the agency that oversees government holdings in enterprises such as Telekom Austria Group, energy firm OMV and Osterreichische Post. According to Reuters, the reforms have been approved by the cabinet and are set to be assessed by parliament in March.
The new look agency, the Osterreichische Bundes und Industriebeteiligungsholding (OBIB – loosely translated as Austrian State and Industrial Holding) will replace the Osterreichische Industrieholding AG (OIAG), which has fallen foul of politicians after a number of major policy disagreements. Outgoing OIAG chief executive Rudolf Kemmler was recently criticised for handing effective control of Telekom Austria Group to Carlos Slim’s America Movil (AM). OIAG owns a 28.42% stake in Telekom Austria, while AM’s direct/indirect stake in the telco reached 59.70% in November 2014.