Govt officials: 5% stake in telephone utility may be sold this month

10 June 2016
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The possibility of selling-off a 5-percent stake the state still owns in the one-time Greek telephony monopoly (OTE) even within the month — and ahead of a Eurogroup meeting on June 16 — was disclosed this week by government officials.

In comments to “N”, the same officials said the sale of the OTE stake may not have been considered a “prior action” by institutional creditors after all. Creditors issued a set of new demands, mostly clarifications of previous decisions, immediately after a Eurogroup meeting on May 24 to unlock disbursement of a 7.5-billion-euro loan tranche to Athens.

Nevertheless, the Greek government appears ready to sell-off the stake in OTE for roughly 300 million euros, which will be deposited into the privatization fund’s (TAIPED) account.

The Greek state still owns 10 percent of OTE shares, although 4 percentage points of that figure belong to the biggest state pension fund, IKA. Selling off IKA’s share (4 percent of OTE’s total shares) appears unlikely at the moment.

As previously reported, by all accounts Deutsche Telecom will purchase the 5-percent stake. DT retains 40 percent of the utility’s share capital and holds its management.

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