Kosovo to sell 16 companies

Prishtinë, May 14, 2006 – The Kosovo Trust Agency Board of Directors approved the 16th wave of privatization, in which the privatization of 16 Socially Owned Enterprises (SOEs) will lead to 33 new companies (NewCos). The Board also agreed to establish a technical committee for the appointment of an international administrator for Trepça, reported the dailies in Kosovo.

“We have decided that the council will consist to a great part of representatives of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG), important Trepça stakeholders, UNMIK and KTA, all of which will advise the administrator,” dailies quote the Head of UNMIK Pillar IV, Joachim Ruecker as saying.

The KTA Board rebuked media claims regarding the approval of a strategy, which foresees the Serbian government to be equal to the Kosovo Government in regards to the privatization of Trepça.

“The KTA is only discussing strategy drafts. Surely, privatization lines are obvious,” RTK quoted Ruecker.

Minister of Trade and Industry and KTA Board Deputy Chairman, Bujar Dugolli, said: “Regardless of attempts to impose a third factor here, Kosovo institutions will have the last word on this matter. There cannot be a third factor and we would not acknowledge any factor other than the local and international ones.”

KTA Board announced the temporary winners of the textile factory “Yumco” and declared its recent privatization by the Serbian Government as illegal. According to RTK, multimillionaire Behxhet Pacolli’s internationally known company “Mabetex” bought Yumco for € 4.1 million from the Serbian Government only to withdraw from the contract following a letter sent to KTA, stating that it recognizes any decision reached by KTA.

“If I am well-informed, the problem for “Yumco” was illegal tendering committed by the Serbian Government. This was corrected and in accordance with KTA privatization rules, the provisional winner was announced,” said Ruecker.

Dugolli said: “Any offer of selling or purchasing Kosovo property out of Kosovo institutions is absolutely unacceptable. I believe that the Board today has unanimously reached a decision not to recognize any other privatization procedures regardless of who the purchaser is.”

KohaTV quotes Dugolli as saying: “KTA announced that it (Yumco) was allegedly sold out of Kosovo but, whatever happened, the risk is with these persons that entered these adventures, it is not KTA’s fault.”

The KTA Board also said they are expecting a response from KTA Special Chamber, which would explain the entire procedure of Grand Hotel.