ECONOMY

No buyer found yet for Montenegro’s telecom company

BELGRADE (Reuters) – Montenegro said yesterday it hoped to find a buyer for a controlling stake in state telecom company Telekom Crna Gora and its Monet mobile phone unit by the end of June. The government invited bids for the fixed-line monopoly last year but has now extended the deadline due to a lack of buyer interest, Veselin Vukotic, president of the small Yugoslav republic’s privatization council, told a news conference. Branko Vujovic, head of Montenegro’s Agency for Economic Restructuring and Foreign Investment, estimated the value of Telekom Crna Gora at «400 million German marks» ($184 million). The mark is still widely used to give valuations in Yugoslavia. Telekom set up its mobile network Monet in June 2000. It competes with ProMonte GSM, the first mobile operator in Montenegro, established in 1996 by a Norwegian-Greek consortium in which Norwegian telecoms operator Telenor holds a 91-percent stake. «Unless things take an unwanted turn, the buyer will get both Telekom and Monet,» Vujovic added.