Greek government to sell final stake in OTE

Greek government to sell final stake in OTE

The government of Greece is believed to be formulating plans to sell its remaining 16% stake in national incumbent OTE in order to raise funds for the country’s struggling economy.

Deutsche Telekom, which already owns a 30% stake in the company, is tipped by analysts to buy the remaining shares.

According to Henry Lancaster, senior analyst for Europe at consulting firm BuddeComm, a sale of 10% of the company to Deutsche Telekom would raise an estimated €640 million. The remaining 6% might then be bought by the German telco at a later date, or sold to other private investors. The Greek government could opt, he believes, to retain a 4% interest in OTE which it would transfer to the employee pension fund.

The prospective OTE sale is part of a wider government plan to sell off state-owned companies to strengthen a tottering economy. Lancaster notes that Greece’s GDP has declined substantially over the last three years, reducing by 2% in 2009 and an estimated 4% in 2010. In 2011 it is predicted to decrease by a further 2.6%.

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