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State Motorway (ÁAK) may go public

Although the government has abandoned plans to remove highway construction costs from the budget through the sale of the State Motorway Management Zrt (ÁAK), it is still considering partial privatization in the form of an IPO at the Budapest Stock Exchange (BÉT), business daily Világgazdaság reported without naming its source. The reason for the sale to remain on the agenda is the much-needed privatization revenue, the newspaper’s sources argued. However, the company is not seen as an attractive investment target in its present form. To remedy this problem, the government may decide to grant a highway operation and maintenance concession to ÁAK for approximately 30 years, creating a steady source of revenue for the company. In the newspaper’s information, ÁAK may also exercise an option to acquire full ownership of M5 highway operator Alföld Concession Highway Rt (AKA). With respect to its legal obligations, the state motorway company is expected to remain in charge of highway construction until the fall, when the National Highway Zrt (NA) or the Treasury Asset Directorate (KVI) could take over. (Világgazdaság)