Greece may sell more shares in OTE

Greece's conservative government may sell more stake in telecom provider OTE next year as part of an ongoing privatization drive, Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis, quoted by an Associated Press report, said.

 

The sale would cut the state's stake in the former monopoly from the 38.7% it currently controlled, the report said.

 

Alogoskoufis told private Mega television that more OTE shares would be sold "only in the event where there is genuine interest" from a major European telecom firm.

 

Local news reports said the sale would be between 10% and 15%, adding that Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom and Telefonica had shown interest in acquiring a stake in OTE.

Greeks paid higher rates for telecom services, both landlines and mobile phones, than most other EU consumers, while broadband Internet penetration was the lowest in the EU, the report said.

 

The government was expected to announce privatization measures for 2007 in September. This year's privatization revenues amounted to 1.74 billion euros ($2.24 billion), exceeding the 2006 target of 1.65 billion euros ($2.12 billion), the report said.

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