Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko signed legislation on Friday to privatise the country’s former telecoms monopoly Ukrtelecom. The sale of Ukrtelecom, in which the government holds a 92.86% stake, has been repeatedly postponed, but both Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych support a plan to hold a public auction for a 50% stake in the company sometime this year. Government officials have valued the stake at USD3 billion, although analysts forecast the shares will fetch much less, due to much of Ukrtelecom’s infrastructure being outdated. Minority stakes in the telco were sold in 2002 to management (5%) and employees (2.14%).
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