The Croatian state is not considering the sale of its stake in the national oil company INA to a third partner, Croatian Finance Minister Slavko Linic said on Tuesday, the news agency Hina reported.
Linic added that he did not think that a sale of the stake would be considered in any case. Citing the Moscow Times, some Croatian media reported yesterday that Russia's Gazprom might be interested in a stake in INA if the government were to sell its shares in the company. Croatia could not be satisfied with Hungarian oil company MOL's policy in INA because there were no investments in oil and gas research or the renovation of refineries, Linic said, responding to a question from reporters. As long as this was the case, it would be difficult to imagine that anyone could consider reducing the government's stake in INA, Linic said.
Linic said that no matter how much the Croatian state needs the money and how much selling the INA shares would help the state to significantly reduce its loans and debts and interest, he does not believe that it would be possible to make such a sale at the current time, Hina reported. MOL owns 49.1% of INA. The Croatian government controls a 44.8% stake. Tensions between the two shareholders over the way the company is managed have often been elevated.