Romania: State-owned companies’ sale ban to be abolished

, SEE Energy News

For a period of two years, the sale of state-owned stakes in national companies and corporations, banks, as well as in any other company in which the state has the quality of shareholder, regardless the share held, is forbidden. The law primarily targets the privatization of companies such as Hidroelectrica, one of the most important sources of revenue to the state budget, and the largest electricity producer in the country.

Romanian new Government wants to abolish Law 173/2020, passed by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) in 2019, which bans the sale of shares held by the state in companies for a period of two years.

Prime Minister Florian Citu said that the law will be repealed soon and it would be possible to sell shares in state-owned companies once again. According to him, it is not a matter of selling the shares, but of attracting foreign capital in Romania. The Government does not have the resources to capitalize on all these companies and cover their investment and growth needs, therefore it is giving up stakes in exchange for the capital. The draft of the new law has been already published by the Ministry of Economy. Last August, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, approved the law which temporarily prohibits the sale of stakes in state-owned companies, thus effectively postponing the long awaited listing of electricity producer Hidroelectrica.