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Croatian asset-sales agency sells stakes in nine companies

Croatia's asset-sales agency sold minority stakes in nine companies, including seed manufacturer BC Institut d.d. Zagreb and meat producer Puris d.d. Pazin, for 1.8 mln kuna ($0.3 million).

Shares in most of the companies were sold at starting bid prices, the Zagreb Stock Exchange said in a statement. Six other companies up for sale attracted no interest, it said. Croatia, which started entry talks with the European Union in 2005 and aims to join in this decade, has held on to minority stakes in most companies sold since becoming independent from Yugoslavia in 1991. It was urged by the International Monetary Fund last year to speed up its asset sales. The Balkan nation is expected to sell 20% of phone company Hrvatski Telekom d.d., 51% owned by Deutsche Telekom AG, over the Zagreb and one foreign bourse in the first half this year. It may also offer 20% of electrical company Hrvatska Elektroprivreda on the exchange this year, Vecernji List newspaper reported today. (Bloomberg)