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UniCredit sees energy, telecoms leading CEE M&A

Energy and telecommunications will lead merger and acquisition activity in eastern Europe over the next year, Willi Hemetsberger, the head of global markets at UniCredit told Reuters on Tuesday.

Hemetsberger said at the Reuters Central European Investment Summit that large energy deals were on the agenda in Russia and Turkey, while infrastructure projects in Russia would also need a lot of international funding. „Particularly I think energy is the biggest game,” he told Reuters. „But there will be others as well. There will be games probably in the telecoms market starting again, where there will be consolidators moving in.”

Turkey had postponed the sale of the 20 electricity grids under its IMF-backed privatization program until after the general elections, which took place in July. The new government has not yet revived the process but it is expected to complete the privatization tenders for power distribution in 2008. The government has also been looking for extra capacity, and the capital Ankara is planning a tender this year to sell its gas network. (The full text of the story)