Croatia determined to save INA

Deals

The Croatian government will try to protect INA, a subsidiary of Hungary's MOL oil company, Croatia's economy minister Ivan Vrdoljak told journalists this weekend, Croatian news agency HINA reported.

INA's management board might decide on the future of its two Croatian refineries in Rijeka and in Sisak this week. Sisak refinery was most likely to be closed, Croatian newspapers Vecernji List and Poslovni Dnevnik said on September 19.

INA is “conducting a strategic analysis of the existing situation on the refining market and is analyzing its own refining system as part of its regular business process”. All options regarding potential changes to the refining business remain open, INA told Croatian news agency.

Hungary's MOL oil company gained management rights in INA through corruption, and is now using them in such a way that gas production fell by 20% in the first six months of the year while production of oil products dipped by 18%, Croatia’s economy minister declared. MOL either did not know how to develop INA or wanted to destroy it, the minister noted. 

There was no guarantee that after the possible closure of the Sisak refinery, the refinery in Rijeka would not be shut down too, or that "some other harmful decision for INA and Croatia's energy" would not be implemented, Mr Vrdoljak added.

The Croatian Ministry of Economy said that "after INA presents the results of an analysis of its refining business, the government and the Ministry of Economy will do all that is in their power to protect the Croatian interests in this strategic oil company and ensure the energy stability of the country."

MOL has a 49.08% stake in INA. The state of Croatia owns 44.84% of the shares, with the rest owned by private institutional and small investors.

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