By Stelios Orphanides
The government is planning to undertake a few more steps towards privatising a number of assets before its term expires in February even after the parliament voted for the dissolution of the Ministry of Finance’s Privatisation Unit three months ago, a ministry source said.
“Even though the privatisation unit was dissolved, work continues with ministry of finance staff,” the source with knowledge of the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity said in a telephone interview.
In an interview to the Beijing-based Global Times, finance minister Harris Georgiades reiterated the government’s intention to give the privatisation of state telecom Cyta another go after it was forced to water down its initial plans after failing to find a parliamentary majority. He also said that the government was also considering privatising three more assets, including the Cyprus Stock Exchange.
Already, the government submitted a bill to privatise the state lottery to the parliament and awaits the parliament’s finance committee to debate on it before sending it to the European Commission for evaluation, a process that may take up to three months, the finance ministry source said.
In the meantime, the ministry is in the final stages of preparing the terms and conditions of the competition for the privatisation of the government-owned residences in the Troodos mountains, the source said.
“There is hope that we will announce the tender by the end of the year or early January,” he continued.
The source added that the ministry completed preparatory work before announcing a competition for the preparation of a study for the privatisation of the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) and added that the government will first have to evaluate the study.