CROATIA set to sell up to 55 pct stake in insurer CO

7 August 2013 —
Croatia opened a tender on Wednesday for the sale of a stake in its leading insurer Croatia Osiguranje (CO), which could be around 50-55 percent.

New European Union member Croatia, which is facing a fifth year of recession and is under pressure to cut its public debt and keep its budget deficit under control, last month approved long-awaited plans to sell stakes in CO and Hrvatska Postanska Banka (HPB), its last remaining state-run bank.

The government owns an 80 percent stake in CO and said it aims to keep a 25-30 percent holding after the sale.

Poland's state insurer PZU and Croatian tobacco and tourism group Adris are seen as the frontrunners to buy the stake in CO, which has a market capitalisation of around 2.17 billion kuna ($384.6 million).

"After the sale Croatia will keep at least 25 percent plus one share and at most 30 percent of the company. The investors which will express interest for CO will then be invited to submit their non-binding offers by September 20," the finance ministry said in a statement.

CO has around a 35 percent share of the insurance market in Croatia.

The government also plans to offer offshore and onshore gas and oil exploration concessions and lease out operations of its motorways for 30-35 years as it seeks to boost revenues.

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CROATIA set to sell up to 55 pct stake in insurer CO
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