BELGRADE: Serbia put 502 loss-making state-owned companies and media outlets on sale in a dramatic bid to cut the country’s rising budget deficit. The giant copper mine at Bor, one of the biggest in Europe, is among the businesses that the state privatisation agency wants bids for by September 14. Among the companies offered for sale on its website are fertiliser producer HIP Azotara, pharmaceutical giant Galenika, furniture maker Simpo and agricultural group PKB, all stalwarts of the economy until the fall of communism in the 1990s. A number of media outlets, including the oldest newspaper in the Balkans, Politika, and dozens of local radio and TV stations are also going under the hammer. In hopes of speeding up sales, the agency said it had prepared plans for a number of different models of privatisation.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2014.
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