Monday, September 08, 2008
Consultants value Serbian oil monopoly at 2.2 bln euros
Sep 7, 2008 – BELGRADE (AFP) — Serbia's oil monopoly NIS, set to be sold to Russian giant Gazprom, is worth 2.2 billion euros (3.1 billion dollars), a global consulting firm estimated in a report published Saturday. "Based on our research, examination and analysis we estimate that fair market value of 100 percent of capital of the Oil Industry of Serbia (NIS)... is 2.2 billion euros," consultants Deloitte said in the report published on the Serbian government Web site. The report, ordered by the government, was published few days ahead ratification in the parliament of the energy agreement with Russia that included sale of NIS to the energy giant Gazprom. Gazprom offered to pay 400 million euros for 51 percent of NIS and to invest 500 million euros in the company. Some politicians in Serbia, including Deputy Prime Minister Mladjan Dinkic, consider the offer too low and have urged new negotiations with the Russian side to be launched on the NIS price. The deal with Russia also covers a pipeline to be built by Gazprom in southern Serbia and an underground gas storage facility in northern Vojvodina province. The accord, signed in January in Moscow, was widely seen as increasing Russia's energy presence in the region and confirming two countries' political links. At the time when the deal was signed, Serbian officials estimated that Russian investment would be at least 1.5 billion euros (2.1 billion dollars) worth. Parliament is expected to vote on ratification draft next week.