Ukraine Selling Off Energy Companies Ths Spring

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s privatisation agency said on Wednesday it planned to sell off blocking shares in five regional energy companies in April or May, a project it has backed since 2008.

The State Property Fund said the sales would apply to Poltavoblenergo (25.0 percent), Prykarpatoblenergo (25.02 percent), Lvivenergo (26.98 percent), Chernihivoblenergo (25.0 percent) and Sumyoblenergo (25.0 percent) over a period extending from April 22 to May 22.

The Fund gave no details on starting prices for the shares or what it hoped to receive from the sales.

The government has long called for the sale of shares in the five companies, but persistent differences between former ‘Orange Revolution’ allies Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and President Viktor Yushchenko blocked the sales.

The government plans to generate 8.5 billion hryvnias ($1.1 billion) from property sell-offs in 2009 compared with about $400 million last year.

($=7.7 hryvnias)

(Reporting by Yuri Kulikov, writing by Ron Popeski)