- Tunisian authorities are planning to sell off shares in 12 state-owned companies this year in the process to speed up privatisation and boost economy, the state privatisation office has confirmed in a statement.
It said the country only managed to sell shares in only one state-owned firm in 2009, and this year’s much bigger sell-off suggested the government was speeding up plans to liberalise the economy.
The statement said although the north Africa state has braced itself as one of the most attractive destinations in the region for foreign investment, but it failed to sell more shares in 2009 due to global economic crisis which reduced its earnings to 3 percent from 4.8 percent in 2008.
The state's High Committee for Privatisation said that it would seek a strategic investor for steelmaker Societe Tunisienne de Siderurgie Al Fouledh.
It also said it would float 25 percent in shipping firm Compagnie Tunisienne de Navigation on the Tunisian stock exchange and sell 20 percent in fuel distributor Societe Nationale pour la Distribution de Petrole through a public offering.
Other firms in the privatisation schedule for 2010 included a sugar importer, which is to sell off a 68 percent stake, and several finance, real estate and agricultural firms.
Since Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali came to office in 1987, the country has privatised 219 state enterprises, generating revenues of 5.9 billion dinars, officials said.
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