China accounted for 28 of the 35 water projects. the number of private-sector operators in the provision of water services remains small. until 2001 only six international water companies accounted for 85% of the population served under publicprivate partnership contracts in developing countries. recent years, however, have seen the ascendancy of water operators from developing countries, serving a market whose population increased by about 40% between 2002 and 2008.

Private participation in and privatisation of water services have been controversial, often with a public backlash or violent conflict. these controversies have given rise to disputes (for example, aguas del tunari versus Bolivia).


Controversies arise because of the many social, environmental and political dimensions that the privatisation of water services entails. increasingly, the private sector is recognising the need for transparency and stakeholder involvement for successful privatisation agreements, as well as the involvement of local private actors.

According to the organisation for economic co-operation and development’s report ‘infrastructure for 2030: mapping policy for electricity, Water and transport’, private water companies are focusing on key regions and are moving from concessions to operation-and-maintenance contracts. there has also been a growing trend towards wastewater contracts, as these tend to be less controversial. the use of concessions is expected to remain attractive in more stable economies, but in others a shift in preferences in favour of operation-andmaintenance contracts will continue.


  • Kazakhstan is looking to privatise stateowned enterprises in energy and finance.
  • South korea is planning to delay announcing the timing and details of the privatisation of Woori finance holdings company.
  • Pakistan is restructuring pakistan international airlines, pakistan railways and pakistan steel mills, but is not planning at this time to privatise them.


  • Poland has proceeded with the sale of the government’s 52% stake in tauron polska energia, its second largest electric utility company. The government has also begun the process for the sale of a majority stake in enea, its third largest utility.
  • Ukraine is planning to complete the privatisation of commercial banks that were recapitalised by 2013.
  • Bulgaria is amending its privatisation and post-privatisation control act.


  • Zimbabwe has slated several parastatals, many saddled with high debts, for sale.
  • Kenya and france telecom have resolved a dispute that arose after france telecom purchased 51% of state-owned telkom kenya.
  • Botswana intends to privatise Botswana telecommunications corporation.
  • Zambia has sold a 75% stake in Zamtel, its telecommunication company, to libya’s lap green networks. tunisia has announced the status of its current privatisation programme as of June 30, 2010.
This privatisation news is provided by the Privatisation Alert ( privatizationalert). 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 investment in 175 countries.