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Country profiles: Lessons in privatization

Despite difficult market conditions, there were significant privatization successes in 1995. In general, privatizers were more circumspect in their approach to the pricing, sizing, placement and timing of offers. Euromoney journalists report on six countries' efforts in difficult markets, and their future plans - followed by a list of major planned privatizations.


Yearning to bring it back home

After two years of protracted negotiations, Merrill Lynch earlier this year celebrated its newly opened joint-venture securities operation in Jakarta. Its liaison with local tycoon Hashim Djojohadikusmo, whose PT Persada Kian Pasti Lestari owns 20% of the new firm, had helped it win Indonesia's two most coveted privatization mandates to date - global coordinator on Indosat's $1.16 billion offering in 1994 and joint global coordinator on last November's $1.6 billion transaction for PT Telkom. Flush with over $50 million in fees from these two deals, it threw a lavish binge.

Catering was provided by the Grand Hyatt hotel, over $20,000 was spent on repainting the courtyard at the National Museum venue and, for $150, the services of a native "rain-stopper" were secured to prevent precipitation from marring the open-air event. But while the rain stayed away, so did the heavyweights of Indonesian business and finance. "Despite Hashim's high profile [he is president Suharto's son-in-law's brother], it was a big no-show. Telecommunications minister Joop Ave was the only politician of note to put in an appearance," says one guest from a rival investment bank.

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