“Serbia’s government plans to launch a tender for the privatization of agricultural company Agricultural Corporation Belgrade (PKB) in a short term”, said the resident representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Serbia, Sebastian Sosa.
“We expect to see a tender for PKB very soon, in the next month or so,” Sosa said in a video file posted on the website of Serbian news agency Tanjug on Tuesday.
After several unsuccessful attempts to find a strategic investor for the company, the government decided to either launch a tender for the sale of PKB or initiate a bankruptcy procedure to free resources from the budget that can be used for other purposes, Sosa said.
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Serbia’s government called a public tender for the sale of PKB subsidiaries Agricultural Aviation, EKO-LAB, PKB Agroekonomik and Veterinary Station in January 2017. However, the government has not issued a public announcement on the outcome of the tender.
In February 2017, Serbian economy minister Goran Knezevic said the government aimed to sell PKB by the end of 2017.
Earlier this year, local media reported that two Serbian companies, MK Group and meat processing group Industry Mesa Matijevic, showed interest in privatization of PKB.
When asked about the privatization of other public enterprises, Sosa said that the Government of Serbia has been solving the issues with public enterprises either through privatization or through launching bankruptcy procedure, and once the problems with public enterprises are resolved, that would result in a release of the resources that were given to the public enterprises that had been losing money, which then could be used to increase public investments.