The government should soon buy a part of the shares of Port of Bar in order to acquire a two-thirds ownership, in order to be in a position to make strategic decisions, Vijesti has learned.
The state now owns 54% of the shares, so it lacks about 13% to the expected two-thirds.
The money for that purchase is foreseen in the rebalancing of this year’s budget, under the item increase of state property.
– The goal is for the state to acquire two-thirds ownership in order to be in a situation to make strategic decisions, among other things related to the potential unification of the Port of Bar, i.e. returning the Port of Adria to the Port of Bar system – said a Vijesti source who is familiar with this business.
In order for these companies to merge into one, it is necessary that their shareholders’ assemblies make such decisions by a two-thirds majority of all shareholders with voting rights.
The rest of the shares are owned by domestic and foreign investors who bought them on the stock market, as well as current and former employees of the Port.
After the state, the largest shareholder has 9.7% of the shares, and his name is hidden behind the custody account of CKB Bank, two percent of the shares are held by the Trend Open Investment Fund, followed by a number of shareholders who have less than one percent of the shares.
A group of small shareholders of Luka Bar, brought together by the Montenegrin Association of Small Shareholders (CAMA), offered about 15% of the company’s shares for sale on the Montenegro Stock Exchange in early October.
It is about eight million shares at a price of one EUR.
The last transaction with these shares on the stock exchange was at a price of 89 cents, and now there is a small number of shares on offer that can be bought at the offered prices of 80 to 88 cents.
The nominal price of Luka Bar shares is estimated at EUR 1.21.
The Minister of Finance, Aleksandar Damjanović, recently announced at the Government session, where one of the topics was the situation with the Meljina hospital, that unlike previous governments, which mostly sold and reduced state property, this one is treated completely differently and does not reduce it, but rather increases.
In several public appearances, he also mentioned Port of Bar in that context, announcing the purchase of these shares.
The Government has announced several times that they plan to buy the Port of Adria, the former container terminal of the unique port, which after the division was bought in 2013 by the Turkish Global Ports.
Port of Adria has been operating at a loss for several years, and the accumulated loss at the end of last year was EUR 35 million.
At the beginning of June, Global Ports announced that it was negotiating with the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) on the sale of all its ports, including the Port of Adria. After that, the Government announced that it was interested in returning the port company to state ownership.
This year, the Port of Bar achieved the best business and transshipment result in the last 30 years, achieving a net profit of EUR 5.2 million.
The executive director of Luka Bar, Ilija Pješčić, told Vijest four days ago that according to the contracted and announced jobs, he expects good business in the coming years as well.
He also stated that the division of the port and the separation and sale of container terminals was a big business mistake and injustice, as well as that the port should be reunified, because it would achieve even better business results, local media writes.