Govt hints to privatize PT PGN in November

Jakarta (Antara News) - The government hints that it will begin privatizing state gas distribution firm PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN) probably in November this year.

"The privatization of PGN must begin before the end of this year probably in November," Secretary of the Office of State Enterprises Minister Said Didu said here on Monday.

But he stopped short of revealing the exact date for the sale of PGN shares because the government still had to consider the condition of the stock market. "Ask the minister about it," he said referring to the state enterprises minister.

Under the privatization scheme, the company will sell 185.8 million shares, accounting for 5.31 percent of its total shares.

The government expects to earn an estimated Rp3 trillion from the privatization of state firms in 2006 to offset a state budget deficit.

"To achieve the target of Rp3 trillion, the government will also release its stake in two other state firms," he said without eleborating.

In 2007, the government expects to earn Rp3.3 trillion from the privatization of 14 state firms including PT Krakatau Steel, PT Wijaya Karya and PT Bank BTN.

"Proceeds from the privatization of the three companies will be used to develop their business," State Enterprises Minister Sugiharto said.

The other 11 state firms are PT Bank BNI, PT Inti, PT Cambrics Primissima, PT Atmindo, PT Kertas Padalarang, PT Askrindo, PT Intirub, PT Reksadana, PT Jakarta International Hotel Development, PT Kertas Blabak, and PT Kertas Basuki Rahmat.

"Proceeds from the privatization of the 11 state firms will be used to offset a deficit of the 2007 state budget," he said.(*)
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