The Cypriot government is aiming to present a new bill to parliament outlining the privatisation of state-owned national operator Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (Cyta) in January 2017, while the disposal of Cyta’s Greek subsidiary Cyta Hellas would take place in March or April next year, Reuters writes. The Finance Ministry’s commissioner of privatisations Constantinos Herodotou revealed that the government was in the ‘final stages’ of developing legislation to sell a minority stake in Cyta, adding that a bill for the full privatisation of Cyta Hellas would be presented earlier than its parent company: ‘The timing for this assuming we get all the necessary final approvals will be to launch the [Cyta Hellas] transaction around March or April 2017.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, a debt bailout deal between Cyprus and international creditors requires the privatisation of Cypriot institutions including Cyta. Under the terms of the bailout, Cyprus has to raise EUR1.4 billion (USD1.6 billion) by selling off state-owned companies in sectors including telecoms, energy and ports. In December 2015 the government approved legislation to privatise Cyta; the bill aimed to preserve salaries, job security, advancement prospects and the collective workers’ agreement, while new legislation also defines powers of the state to intervene in the company for national security reasons.