Today the Slovak Economy Minister Pavol Rusko should inform the government on the process of negations with Enel regarding the sale of the state's 66% stake in Slovenske elektrarne (SE). Note that Rusko said yesterday that he proposes extending exclusive talks with Enel. Previously Rusko threatened to stop negotiations with Enel and possibly start talks with CEZ (which finished second in the tender) or even to cancel the tender last week as he was disappointed with Enel's slow progress in accepting the state's conditions. Enel won the SE tender, offering EUR 840m, while CEZ came second with an offer of EUR 690m.
According to the ERU (the Energy Regulatory Office), consumption of electricity increased by 3.3% y/y for the first 9 months while large companies increased their consumption by 4.5% y/y and households by 1.7% y/y. CEZ increased its production by 1.9% y/y. The company expects its production to reach 61 TWh for the full year 2004, which is similar to last year's level and corresponds to the trend set in 9M
In other news, Trade and Industry Minister Milan Urban repeated that he is against privatization of CEZ altogether. Instead Urban would keep the state's shares in a special account and use the dividends for pension reform. This contrasts with the Finance Ministry's plan to finance pension reform using the proceeds from CEZ's privatization. As the position of Industry Ministry has been known for some time (although Urban's concrete plan is not ready yet) and the government does not plan to privatize CEZ before 2006, we see the comment as neutral.
Tomáš Gatěk, Patria Finance