31 Aug 2023 15:23

Azerbaijan intends to cede part of state stake in AzerGold, ASCO and other enterprises to investors

BAKU. Aug 31. (Interfax) - Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed an order on measures to attract private investment in large state-owned companies, and the text of the order is published on the presidential website.

According to the order, eight banks and enterprises are included in the list: International Bank of Azerbaijan, the largest bank in the country, Baki Telefon Rabitasi, Aztelekom LLC, Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company (ASCO), AzerGold CJSC, Azerhimiya (Ethylene-Propylene Plant), Carbamide Plant and Methanol Plant [all three plants are part of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan].

The order states that the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport and the Azerbaijan Investment Holding, with the involvement of an international consulting company, are instructed to, within nine months, prepare and submit proposals to the President of Azerbaijan on the following issues: restructuring of state-owned enterprises and their recovery; assessment of state-owned enterprises, the optimal ratio of their obligations, charter capital and investment needs; the range of potential investors; and opportunities for liberalization and demonopolization, taking into account the requirements of the competitive environment of the relevant market. It is also required that, in defining the core activities of state-owned enterprises which should remain under the control of the state, the ministries establish the possibility of transferring to the private sector any other activities that are incompatible with those at the core.

These measures are meant to enact reforms in state-owned enterprises, continue restructuring and rehabilitation measures involving state-owned companies, attract private investment by reducing the state's share, expand the participation of Azerbaijani citizens in the management of state-owned enterprises, expand the use of corporate governance, and develop the securities market.