That figure includes two initial public offerings (IPOs) in China – the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (for $22bn) and the Bank of China (for $13.7bn). China was the top privatiser in 2006 with 17 IPOs, followed by Russia and Turkey.

Europe and central Asia was the leading region by value of privatisation transactions, followed by east Asia. Led by Egypt, the value of privatisation transactions in the Middle East and north Africa nearly tripled in 2006.

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In Latin America, privatisation rebounded after consistent declines throughout this decade, with recent surges in privatisation activity in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.

Although several countries continue to privatise in sub-Saharan Africa, the value of such transactions declined in 2006. The same happened in South Asia, despite an increase in privatisation activity in India.

 

EUROPE

  • Turkey is privatising the ports of Bandirma and Samsun.
  • Albania is planning to privatise the distribution branch of its power utility company and its oil refinery plant in the context of the latest round of privatisations this year.
  • Pending ratification by its parliament, Bosnia-Herzegovina has decided to proceed with the sale of BH Telecom, in which it owns a 90% stake, and expects the process to be completed by the end of 2008. The government has cancelled or postponed indefinitely the sale of other assets slated earlier for privatisation.
  • Montenegro has posted several privatisation opportunities in tourism and hotel properties.
  • Serbia is proceeding with the sale of various state-owned enterprises through auctions scheduled for April 2008.
  • Russia has extended the deadline for offers for the sale of the government’s stake in RAO Unified Energy System to April 7, 2008.
  • Ukraine is planning to sell its shares in four thermal power generation companies slated for privatisation this year.

 

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

  • Egypt continues the process of privatising state-owned assets, with the sale by auction of its second fixed-line phone licence this year.
  • From the onset of its privatisation programme at end-December 1987 until end-January 2008, Tunisia had privatised or restructured 209 enterprises with total revenue proceeds of TND5700m ($4907m).

 

ASIA

  • Kyrgyzstan is waiting for the government’s approval of the planned sale of Kyrgyzgaz and Kyrgyzneftegaz in the oil and gas sector.
  • Korea is planning a wave of privatisations, which include the Korea Development Bank, Woori Financial Group and the Industrial Bank of Korea over the course of 2008 and next year.
  • Pakistan has approved the divestment of the government’s share in the SME Bank. The country has received $2bn in proceeds from privatisation in the 2006/07 financial year.

This privatisation news is provided by the FDI.net Privatization Alert (www.fdi.net/privatizationalert). FDI.net is a web portal from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, a member of the World Bank Group, that offers free, on-demand country analysis and information on issues related to foreign direct investment in 175 countries.