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Romania looks to privatization to develop capital markets

Transelectrica is the country’s first utility to IPO.

Codrut Seres Codrut Seres: spearheading the move to develop Romania’s capital markets through privatization

The Romanian government’s plan to encourage the development of its local capital markets through privatization has been boosted by the successful IPO of Transelectrica, the country’s first utilities company to be listed in Bucharest. Transelectrica offered 7.3 million new shares in a capital increase through a public offer in Romania and an international private placement.

Privatizations in central and eastern Europe have to date mainly been carried out via strategic sales rather than listings but the Romanian government has now decided to change tack. The Transelectrica deal is the first in a series of listings planned in the next few years.

“Unlike other countries in the region, the Romanian government plans to foster the development of its capital markets [through privatization],” says Siegfried Neumüller, deputy head of equity capital markets in the CEE at RZB. “This means it will not just sell [strategic] stakes but it will strengthen the market, keep some capital in the country, and pave the way for future IPOs from the private sector.”

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