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CEZ´s AGM approved gross dividends of CZK 8 per share

18.6.2004 11:02

As expected, the CEZ AGM yesterday approved gross dividends of CZK 4.7bn or CZK 8 per share to be distributed out of the 2003 net profit (POR of 34%, CAS). Dividends of CZK 4.5-9 per share may be expected in coming years, CEZ CEO M. Roman said.

According to him, CEZ is monitoring possible acquisition in nine countries: Slovakia, Bulgaria, Poland, Moldova, Macedonia, Ukraine, Croatia, Romania, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. It has not been decided though if CEZ will submit bids in each of these countries. CEZ is nevertheless close to submitting binding bids for Slovenske elektrarne, the leading Slovak power producer; the deadline is July 21. Also, a BoD member P. Voboril said that CEZ should be able to file the final bids for all the three groups of seven privatized Bulgarian distributors, but the final number of bids has not yet been approved.

Mr. Roman also said that CEZ will launch a tender for selling its 34% stake in CEPS, the transmission-grid operator, in coming days. Note that CEZ has to sell the stake due to the Anti-Monopoly ruling after CEZ acquired eight regional distributors last year. Given the AMO selling conditions, the most likely buyer is the state; the transaction should be finished by the end of August.

Separately, Mr. Voboril said should CEZ receive less than 40m emission credits it would restrict its commercial use of certain installations. He added though there is a chance to get more credits than 35m recently announced by the Ministry of Environment. Note that the Ministry’s proposal will be further reviewed by the government and very likely criticised by the Ministry of Industry as too restrictive; the final number of emission credits should not thus have significant impact on the company, we believe. Source: Bloomberg, Reuters.

Separately, CEZ and Appian Group may reportedly set up a joint venture that would buy the state's 55% stake in Severoceske doly, a leading domestic coal miner without a public tender. The HN daily is citing a plan that is being considered by the Ministry of Industry and that should be discussed by the government by the end of September. CEZ would contribute to the JV by its current 37% stake in SD and Appian would put in its 100% stake in another domestic coal mining company, Mostecka uhelna. Both CEZ and Appian would pay approx. CZK 4bn each for the 55% stake. Note that CEZ paid CZK 3.5bn for its current 37% stake and the highest bid in the recently cancelled privatization of SD reached CZK 6.8bn.

Jan Hajek

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