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%.