Fri, 05 Mar 1999

Investors to submit final bid on Aneka Tambang soon

JAKARTA (JP): The government expects to receive final binding bids from investors interested in acquiring a stake in the state- owned mining company, PT Aneka Tambang (Antam) next week, a minister said.

State Minister of the Empowerment of State Enterprises Tanri Abeng said on Thursday the government would remain majority shareholder in the general mining company, but would consider selling most of its stake if the move proved beneficial.

"We are still studying the possibility of surrendering a majority stake if it will be more profitable," he said, at a ceremony to present a London Bullion Market Association certification award to Antam, which is listed on the Jakarta Stock Exchange.

He declined to provide further details on the sale.

The government currently owns a 65 percent stake in Antam, while the remaining 35 percent is owned by the public through the stock market.

The company's president, Dedy Aditya Sumanegara, said the company had appointed a sponsor broker from Australia to help the privatization deal. He provided no further details.

Dedy said company's sales last year were "close to US$100 million".

Antam, which produces various minerals including ferronickel, nickel ore, gold and silver, is one of 10 state-owned companies the government plans to privatize this year, in order to raise $1 billion to fill the state budget deficit.

The nine other companies are telecommunications firm PT Telkom, toll road operator PT Jasa Marga, coal mining operation PT Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam, steelmaker PT Krakatau Steel, fertilizer manufacturers PT Pupuk Sriwijaya and PT Pupuk Kaltim, airport management firm PT Angkasa Pura I, plantation company PT Perkebunan Nusantara III and port operator PT Pelabuhan Indonesia I.

Meanwhile, the Philippine's International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) said on Thursday it would submit next week its bid for the contract to manage and operate the Surabaya port in East Java.

Dow Jones News Wires quoted ICTSI spokeswoman Narlene Soriano as saying that the deadline for the bids was sometime next week.

ICTSI failed to secure a stake in PT Jakarta International container Terminal, a unit of state-owned port operator PT Pelindo II.

The stake would have enabled ICTSI to operate and manage containers I and II of the container port at the city's busy Tanjung Priok Port for 25 years. (das)