Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Kosovo Sell-Off Body Picks Provisional Buyer of Steel Producer Fan

Prishtina Serbia and Montenegro), September 28 (SeeNews) - The Kosovo Trust Agency (KTA), charged with the sale of hundreds of state-owned companies in the UN-run Serbian province, said on Wednesday it picked a provisional buyer which has offered to pay 2.3 million euro ($2.7 million) for steel manufacturer Fan.

The bid has been increased by 210,000 euro since the first round of bidding, KTA said in a statement.

The buyer is to invest an additional 2.8 million euro in the next four years and to employ 236 people, according to KTA's requirements.

Under KTA's regulations, the name of the buyer would be disclosed only if a sale contract is signed. The sale should be approved by KTA's board. No deadline for the approval was set.

Fan is the only factory in Kosovo that produces reinforced steel elements for the construction industry, with an average capacity of 20,000 tonnes per year, KTA said.

KTA ( ) has so far sold around 50 of the 500 companies it has on its privatisation list.

KTA's efforts to boost the economy in the province of two million people and create new jobs have been hampered by Kosovo's unclear status. The southern Serbian province has been under UN administration since 1999 following the NATO bombing campaign to halt the Serb repression of the ethnic Albanian majority in Kosovo.

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