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14 апреля, 00:00
By Yana Moiseyenkova, The Day

The new central hero of the inconsistent privatization process, acting chairman of the State Property Fund Oleksandr Bondar, had scarcely announced his intention to “organize steady work” when Prime Minister Valery Pustovoitenko ordered him to suspend privatization of regional energy companies (they seemed too cheap).

Being freshly appointed to the post, Bondar immediately responded and promised to change the conditions of contests on selling shares in these “attractive” companies. We do not know whether it was an order or Bondar just wanted to show his stuff, but he promised to stipulate transfer of the state share package to the winner of the contest. The head of SPF believes that this will attract more attention to the share packages.

This was the first testing assignment for the new acting SPF chairman. He coped with it initially with promises. According to the plans announced at his first press conference in his new job, Bondar seems to be peaceful and facile. Unlike his predecessor fired by the President last week, Bondar is not planning any staff reductions. First of all he is concerned about his colleagues and thinks that “sweeping changes in staff policy will result in suspension of the privatization process and loss of mutual trust among colleagues.” However, specialists from the government commission on privatization accused Bondar of certain deviations from the law. As an example they showed the letters of the former first deputy of the head of SPF to investment companies offering to buy 27.5% of shares of Sumy’s Frunze enterprise. They also mentioned his innovations in contest conditions (the winner was the one who agreed to pay 10% down of the his total amount investment obligation). These innovations were introduced during the privatization of the Zaporizhzhia Ferroalloy Plant.

It seems that there is a certain instability in SPF: it has been over half a year since the privatization body lost its head. Of course, this suits some high-ranking functionaries fine. Thus we are still not certain if the candidacy of Oleksandr Bondar will be considered during the final session of the lame duck Verkhovna Rada (the acting SPF head says the President is planing to propose it). Bondar will stand a better chance of confirmation by the deputies spending their last hours in Parliament, since its successor will be full of Leftists. For this reason the fate of privatization is vague. Moreover, he did not gain popularity after declaring that the Fund would not sign the sale agreement despite a civil court decision to acknowledge the victory of the Sigma Investment Fund in the contest the Zaporizhzhia plant shares. At the same time Bondar promised to meet with Sigma staff and to settle the issue. The question is how.


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