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Croatian govt seeks greater influence in INA management

The Croatian government wants Hungarian oil and gas company MOL to reduce the power of the executive board of Croatian energy company INA, in which they share ownership, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing INA supervisory board chairman Davor Stern.

MOL established the executive board in 2009 alongside the existing management and supervisory boards.

"Croatia wants a bigger say in deciding on INA's status and directions as one of the key companies in the country," Mr Stern said in a phone interview with Bloomberg. "We are unhappy with the power distribution in the company," he added.

Croatia's government on Thursday said it wanted new talks with MOL on INA. "The goal of talks is to ensure more efficient implementation of the goals from the shareholder agreement, especially in relation to national energy stability, and improvement of the business results and INA's market position in Croatia and southeastern Europe," the government said. "We think that these goals have not been met," it added.

Croatian news agency HINA on Thursday said the Croatian government would ask in writing for a meeting with MOL this week. The Croatian delegation is to include Economy Minister Djuro Popijac, Finance Minister Martina Dalicand and Mr Stern.

The government negotiators will demand that the management board is given executive authority, and directors from the executive board be kept as "heads of sector," Mr Stern told Bloomberg.

The government would also like INA to "win back its previous positions" in the wholesale and retail markets in Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, he said. The pace of negotiations will be outlined on June 7, during a supervisory board meeting.

The Croatian government also wants MOL to raise oil reserves at INA and overhaul its two refineries, Bloomberg said.

MOL holds 47.46pc of INA and has an option to buy another 1.6pc of shares. The Croatian government owns 44.8pc.