By Marija Avramovic – Zagreb
If the negotiations with the Hungarian company MOL, on the joint management of INA fail, Croatia is preparing for the option to purchase MOL’s stake in INA, reiterated in an interview for Bloomberg, the Minister of Economy Ivan Vrdoljak.
“The Croatian government will propose to MOL a new shareholder contract and I expect the sixth round of talks on the future of INA no later than early December”, the minister said.
If it doesn’t come to an agreement, Croatia could buy INA shares from MOL with a secured loan or it could work with the Hungarian company on the sale of its stake to someone else, the Croatian minister noted on Tuesday in an interview for Bloomberg.
Back in July, Vrdoljak said for this business portal that Croatia wanted to negotiate a loan for the purchase of INA shares from MOL.
“The shares owned by MOL, and no more than 19% of INA shares owned by us could be used as collateral. In this way there would be no need for government guarantees, and this transaction would not increase public debt”, he stressed back in July.
According to the latest government estimations, the Croatian public debt by the end of this year could reach about 80% of GDP, with the Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic repeatedly denying the scenatio of additional government borrowing for the purchase of MOL’s stake in INA, and Finance Minister Boris Lalovac stands at the same position.
According to officially unconfirmed information, which the “Business Journal” gathered from multiple sources within the bidders, the Croatian Agency for hydrocarbons received offers for the first Croatian competition for the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in the Adriatic sea from INA, among five other companies.
At a time when the croatian national oil company is in question, the information that INA has applied to the tender by itself, which has been officially confirmed by the company, is very interesting, the “Business Journal” reported today.